How Long Does a Grouper Live

The lifespan of most groupers is between five and fifteen years for most species. In general, several common species reach reproductive maturity between 30 and 50% of the time.

Old fish drawing
Old fish drawing

The Life Cycle of Groupers

The grouper begins as a planktonic larva, develops into juvenile along the beach, transitions to a fall egress, and then enters its last stage before moving offshore. By laying eggs on land, groupers reproduce externally. The larvae are carried inshore by the adult grouper to spawning grounds, where they spend about 40 to 60 days before laying their eggs on seagrass meadows. Depending on the species, the larvae hatch as tiny juveniles and remain inshore for 2–5 years.

When they reach adulthood, they move offshore to mix with other adult populations.

The frequency, quantity, and location of spawning events vary. For instance, around the full moon in December, the Nassau grouper gathers in large numbers in a particular area. Then there’s the scamp grouper, which lives in small groups for two months and lays eggs wherever they want inshore.

The location of the eggs, which is basically inshore, is the biggest similarity. The reason for this is that because the deadly predators live offshore in the wide ocean, it is the safest environment for newborn baby groupers. Octopus, tiny crabs, and lobster are among the food items that groupers consume. Instead of pursuing their meal, they prefer to lie down and wait for it.

How Long Do Different Groupers Live on Average

From small to huge, there are various types of groupers. They are all fairly distinct and have a variety of lifespans despite having many similarities.

 between two and four feet in length, or between 11 and 14, they start off as females, and some transform into males as they mature.

Gag Grouper

Grey groupers, sometimes known as gag groupers, resemble black groupers a great deal. Gag catches often weigh between five and twenty pounds, the same as black catches. In water that is at least 60 feet deep, gag groupers are commonly seen close to coral reefs and ocean drop-offs.

They can have up to a 30-year lifespan, which is longer than that fit an average grouper. Since they are protogynous hermaphrodites, they are born female and reach sexual maturity at roughly age 4. They begin to transform into men at the age of eight. They spawn in the South Atlantic from mid-January to early May and in the Gulf of Mexico from late January to mid-April.

Goliath Grouper

These enormous fish have an eight-foot maximum length and weigh more than 800 pounds. Goliaths inhabit shallower waters than other grouper species. They will travel to estuaries in search of food and engage in coastal hunting. You can only fish for Goliath grouper on a catch-and-release basis because it is a protected species.

The average lifespan of Goliath groupers could surprise you because they are known to live fairly long lives. In perfect circumstances, according to some scientists, Goliaths can live for 50 to 100 years. The oldest known Goliath grouper lived to be 37 years old.

The oldest known grouper in captivity was a Goliath by the name of Cleatus. At his home in the Florida Aquarium, Cleatus lived for 30 years.

Snowy Grouper

One of the most delectable varieties of grouper, if you enjoy seafood, is the snowy grouper. At depths of 350 feet or more, you can catch this grouper. Although the typical catch is only 10, snowys are brown and white and can weigh up to 50 pounds.

The smallest male ever measured was 72.7 cm, and he was 8 years old. The largest snowy grouper ever measured 120 cm in length and 30 kg in weight. The oldest snowy grouper ever measured was 29 years old.


The lifespan of a Nassau grouper is 29 years. Usually, between 15 and 17 inches is when boys and girls reach sexual maturity. When they are approximately 20 inches long and between 4 and 5 years old, most reach sexual maturity. Nassau grouper go through a bisexual phase as juveniles before maturing straight into males or females.

Red Grouper

A reddish tone and white speckles help you recognize a red grouper. Red groupers experience sex reversal like many other groupers do, with immature females changing into males as they get older. a minimum of 25 years in life.


The scamp grouper have been observed at 21 years of age and have a 30-year life expectancy. They can weigh 36 pounds and grow to be 43 inches long. Crabs, shrimp, and other fish will all be swallowed whole by scamps, which are ferocious predators.

Warsaw Grouper

One of the biggest groupers, the Warsaw grouper, can grow to be eight feet long and weigh 440 pounds. This fish prefers depths between 228 and 660 feet and lives alone in deep waters. On jetties and shallow-water reefs, juveniles are occasionally discovered. Warsaw grouper can live for up to 41 years.

Yellowfin Grouper

Despite sex reversal having been noted, protogynous hermaphrodite females change sex to males at around 8 to 9 years old and 65 cm long. The lifespan of this species is up to 15 years.

Yellowmouth Grouper

You can recognize this deep-water grouper by looking at its lips. Plump, yellowish lips are a prominent feature. With an average weight of two to three pounds, they are smaller than scamps. Their maximum lifespan is 41 years.

Speckled Hind

The majority of the time, the speckled hind swallows its prey entirely. They have a 25-year average lifespan.


They are protogynous, with females maturing at 16 cm (6.3 inches) and changing into males at about 20 cm (7.9 inches). They live for eleven years on average.

Bottom Line

The Serranidae family includes groupers, which are large, hefty fish with large mouths. Grouper comes in over 400 different varieties around the world. The majority of them are present in warmer seas. Additionally, groupers typically live for five to fifteen years on average.


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