What Is the Difference Between Grouper and Dentex?

Grouper is a common fish that is found in almost all places around the world. Dentex fish is less popular than grouper fish, but it is also a known species around the area where it is most found. Of course, these two fish are completely different and have a lot of things that make them unique. Starting from the appearance of the fish to the nutrients in it, there are many differences between the two. This is due to the fact that they are completely different fish species that live in the water.

The Appearance

The first thing that you will notice is their appearance. Both of these fish look completely different. Grouper is a round-bodied fish that has a large mouth, often larger than its body. The fish is darkly colored, usually brown to dark gray in color. However, the deeper the ocean it inhabits, the redder the fish gets.

When it comes to dentex, it has a body that is oval and compressed. The reason they got this name is due to their highly developed teeth that can pierce through any prey. The fish come in different colors, such as grey, blue, silver, and pink. The adult fish is usually blue-grey, while the younger fish is brown and blue in color with blue fins as well.


The habitat

Grouper can be found in a variety of water bodies because there are so many species of it. Some of them live in shallow water, while others live in deeper water, and they like to stay closer to reefs and corals. They can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and other normal waters worldwide.

Dentex, on the other hand, is a fish found primarily in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and Eastern Atlantic Ocean, from the British Isles to Mauritania. This fish can also be found in Senegal and the Canary Islands. In the water, the fish inhabits rocky and rubble bottoms, usually in shallow water, but it can also be found in depths up to 200 meters.

Grouper illustration
Grouper illustration

The diet

When it comes to grouper fish, it is mostly an omnivorous fish that eats whatever it can get its hands on. It can eat algae and other water plants, along with small fish, octopuses, and crustaceans, if it can get any. Of course, some species of grouper are carnivorous and herbivorous as well. Even the grouper fish, which is primarily omnivorous, prefers a carnivorous diet.

The dentex fish is always a carnivorous fish that does not get any nutrients from plants, such as algae. They eat a variety of creatures in the wild, including octopuses, cephalopods, squids, shrimp, fish, Mollusca, and cephalopods. Their strong teeth help them break the skin of many different organisms. Grouper on the other hand, do not have teeth, and suck their prey into their mouths.

The size

Overall, grouper is a bigger fish. The larger grouper is more than seven feet, and it weighs 440 pounds. However, there are smaller groupers that can be around 35 to 40 inches in size. The grouper usually has a very long lifespan, so it can continue growing for a long time and get big, mainly the goliath grouper.

The dentex fish is also a big fish, although grouper can get smaller. This fish can get around 40 inches in size and weigh up to 22 pounds. This is a very small fish compared to the grouper fish. Therefore, this is another big difference between these two species of fish, among other huge differences.

The nutritional value

For a 100-gram fillet, the nutritional value of both fish is quite different. This does not mean that any of them are considered unhealthy. A grouper has around 118 calories, with 24 grams of protein, one gram of fat, and 47 mg of cholesterol. It is a fish that is high in vitamins like vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium which is a very healthy fish.

On the other hand, a 100-gram fillet of dentex has around 112 calories which are very similar to that of a filter of grouper fish. This fish has four grams of fat which is more than a grouper fish. The protein composition is 19 grams for this amount of fish. Like grouper, dentex is also high in vitamins and minerals.

The taste

The grouper fish is not as commonly eaten, but the red grouper and black grouper are edible. There are not many fish farms for grouper, and it is often sold fresh instead of frozen or any other way. It tastes very slightly sweet, the red grouper being sweeter compared to black grouper. The fish has firm flakes and can absorb flavor very well.

The dentex fish is a very famous fish for its taste and aroma. It is considered one of the tastiest fishes that can be found. It has a delicate and sweet taste that a good fish has. Since the fish has such a good taste of its own, it does not need a lot of seasoning, and a squeeze of lemon with olive oil is the best way to make it.


Now you know that dentex fish and grouper fish are completely different species with a lot of unique features. They look different and have different habitats, sizes, nutritional values, and tastes. Both of these fish taste great and can be eaten in many ways.

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