What Is a Strawberry Grouper?

The Strawberry Grouper (Cephalopholis spiloparaea), a fish from the Serranidae family that is only found in the Pacific and adjacent seas, is a very dangerous carnivore. They have thick, pointed teeth in their jaws, so if you ever see one of these reddish-orange fish, be careful only to observe it from a distance. This fish typically lives in the Pacific Ocean’s depths and measures a colossal 5–6 pounds.

Classification of Strawberry Grouper

    • Kingdom: Animalia

    • Phylum: Chordata

    • Class: Actinopterygii

    • Order: Perciformes

    • Family: Serranidae

    • Genus: Cephalopholis

    • Species:C. spiloparaea

Strawberry Grouper Traits

Appearance of a Strawberry Grouper

The Strawberry Grouper has a classic grouper shape and, like many other groupers, can change colors according to how it feels. It typically has light pink spots all over the body and a rosy tint. Below the mouth are small, pale pink spots and larger, greenish-blue patches all over the face. The blue edge on the upper and lower caudal fins is distinctive.

The crimson color and pale or lighter red/orange patches that cover their entire body give strawberry groupers their name. Some of their fins will be a darker shade, while others may be yellow or have other lighter hues. It’s interesting to note that Strawberry Grouper may alter their color’s pigmentation to shift from lighter to darker tones to blend in with their environment.

They feature a row of proportionately small teeth in the front of their mouth, and, like all groupers, a proportionately huge mouth made for swallowing their prey whole. They are one of the smaller groupers, with a maximum length of 30 centimeters.

Strawberry Grouper
Strawberry Grouper

Behavior & Habits

Most islands, as well as the eastern coast of Africa and the middle of the Pacific Ocean, contain strawberry grouper. Instead of protected places or estuaries, they are generally found on deeper, exposed reefs. They can be found 15 meters below the surface. Water with features like reefs or rocky outcroppings is where strawberry groupers can be found. In general, larger fish live in deeper water, although many prefer coral reefs because they can blend in.

Natural Prey

The Strawberry Grouper is the only fish in the Caribbean Sea with this stunning shade of pink. Strawberry grouper, also known as sea bass, is most commonly seen while diving on the outer reef slopes and walls. They frequently hunt at dusk and toward the bottom. They take food by sucking it into their lips, then swallowing it whole.

Small fish, invertebrates like crabs and shrimp, and cephalopods make up the strawberry grouper’s diet. As this fish eats its food completely, it usually just consumes what it can. As ambush predators, they eat in the morning and late in the day when their coloring helps them blend in more. After about 5 meters, the water begins to filter off red light, and their red hues serve as effective underwater camouflage.


In the Mariana Islands, spawning between a lone male and several females occurs between late afternoon and dusk. The substrate receives the eggs once they have been released.

Fun Strawberry Grouper Facts

The Strawberry Grouper, also known as the Red Hind, may be found all over the Bahamas and south Florida, including the Florida Keys. It is primarily found on the reef at depths of under 100 feet and is a very active feeder. This kind of grouper is tasty, typically growing to 2 to 4 pounds. Strawberry grouper is frequently caught well during reef fishing in the Florida Keys and Bahamas.

    • Prey: Crustaceans

    • Diet: Carnivore

    • Average Litter Size: 1-8

    • Weigh: 5-6 lb

    • Appearance: Orange

    • Skin Type: Wet, slimy scales

    • Main Threats: Humans

    • Conservation Status: Least Concern

    • Habitat: Mid-Atlantic US/Gulf/Coastal South America

    • Availability: Year Round

    • Flavor profile: Firm flakes with a subtle flavor.

    • Fishing Technique: Hook & line, long line

    • Special Note: Solitary and Territorial

    • Suitable Sub: Red Grouper

    • Category: Groupers

    • Other names: strawberry hind, sea bass.

    • Size: Up to 8 in. (20 cm)

    • Depth: 30-300 ft. (10-90 m)

    • Distribution: Indo-Pacific, French Polynesia, Australia

How Should I Handle Strawberry Grouper?

Anglers must employ dehooking and venting tools to release reef species like grouper securely. If you bring it up from a deep depth, vent appropriately after releasing it while keeping it submerged and removing the hook with pliers or a dehooker. All groupers have the same set of razor-sharp teeth and gill plates. The simplest approach to holding onto them is to carefully insert your fingers within the gill plate, just inside the corner but not inside. The spine is not known to hurt.

Strawberry Grouper Nutritional Information

    • Total Fat 1g –  2%

    • Saturated Fat 0.2g –   1%

    • Cholesterol 37mg –     10%

    • Sodium 45mg –           2%

    • Potassium 411mg –    12%

    • Total Carbohydrate 0g –         0%

    • Dietary Fiber 0g –        0%

    • Protein 16.5g –            33%

Is Strawberry Grouper Any Good?

The Serranidae family of sea bass includes several different species of groupers, including strawberry groupers. Its white, delicately flavored flesh can be deep-fried, poached, baked, or broiled. Grouper makes a great addition to chowders and seafood stews since the fillets stay together well.

How Does Strawberry Grouper Taste?

The lean, juicy, and light flesh of strawberry grouper is composed of substantial meat flakes. Many people equate its flavor to that of European seabass and halibut. With a touch of sweetness to round it out, the fish flavor is mild.

Are Strawberry Groupers Rare?

Despite being uncommon, they appear to be numerous in some places, particularly the Marine-protected parks. Outside of these places, they are rarely observed.

How Many Calories Are There in a Strawberry Grouper?

Vitamin A and some B vitamins are crucial vitamins in this fish. For anyone on a diet, grouper is perfect. There are only 92 calories in a 100-gram filet. All ages can consume reduced fat content.


Below 40 meters, strawberry grouper may be the most widespread fish on Indo-Pacific coral reefs. The Strawberry Grouper is an essential component of a healthy diet because of its mild flavor, large flakes of meat with a light, firm texture, and low-fat level. Along with high-quality protein, it offers a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, such as vitamins B6, B12, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.

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