What Is the Difference Between Grouper and Murray Cod?

Grouper is a well-known saltwater fish that can be found all over the world. The Murray cod, on the other hand, is an intriguing fish that is not a true cod fish. Of course, these two are separate fish with a lot of differences. For starters, these two look completely unique and occupy different habitats. The Murray cod is a fish that only inhabits a few places, like grouper does, and is a rare fish due to overfishing in the past.

Murray Cod on ice
Murray Cod on ice

The differences between Grouper and Murray cod

These two are unique and famous fish that serve their purposes well, but they also have a lot of differences between them.

The appearance

The biggest difference between the two fish is their appearance. The grouper is known to be a large, round-bodied fish, with its head being bigger than the rest of the body. It has a lower jaw that extends out because it is bigger than the upper jaw. Groupers vary in color from brownish gray to reddish gray, depending on where they are found. Some species of groupers are very colorful, like strawberry groupers.

On the other hand, the Murray cod has a long and elongated body and a broad and scooped head with a large mouth, somewhat like a grouper. The jaws of this fish are equal in size in most cases. When it comes to the color of the fish, it has a white to cream-colored belly with the body being yellowish green to green in color. The body is covered in dark green, black, or brown mottling that often looks like a leopard’s print.

The habitat

The habitat of grouper is very wide and it can be found in almost all waters around the world. The goliath grouper, one of the biggest species of grouper, is mainly found in shallow water among corals and artificial reefs. There are species found in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, ponds, and other seas as well.

When it comes to the Murray cod, it is only found in one habitat. This fish is found in the Murray Darling River system, so native Australians have traditionally hunted it until its number dwindled significantly. Here this fish can inhabit many parts of the water, such as the cool, clear, fast-flowing streams with riffle and pool structures and rocky substrates in upland areas, as well as the large, slow-flowing, meandering rivers in the extensive alluvial lowland areas.



The size

When it comes to size, they are both considered very large fish. The goliath grouper species, for example, can grow to more than seven feet in size and weigh more than 400 pounds in the wild. There are other smaller species of grouper as well that grow to be around 30 inches to 40 inches in size. Of course, this means that groupers can be huge.

The Murray cod is known as the largest freshwater fish in the world. The size of this fish is around 40 inches and it can also get a foot long. The largest fish ever weighed around 250 pounds, so it is still smaller than a grouper. However, it is still a very large fish, as it only inhabits freshwater, while the goliath grouper does not.

The reproduction

The grouper has a very interesting reproduction method. These fishes are mostly monandric protogynous hermaphrodites, so they start out as female fish, and then once the fish matures, it can change its sex to male. This male fish leads a harem of up to 15 fish, and they reproduce in pairs. Due to this, these fish breed infrequently or that easily. 

The Murray cod has a normal reproduction method, as the male and female fish mate and lay eggs in spring. The larger the female fish is, the more eggs it can carry. On average, they lay around 10,000 eggs, but a very large female can lay eggs in numbers of around 90,000. Since their population is low, this is very important to maintain the population of Murray cod.

The nutritional value

Although both these fish are not very commonly eaten, they are popular among specific people. A 100-gram fillet of grouper has 118 calories and 25 grams of protein. This fish has only 1.30 grams of fat and 47 mg of cholesterol. This fish is high in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B, and phosphate. So, it is very good for your health.

The calories in 100 grams of Murray cod fillet are 153 with 9.2 grams of fat. This means that this fish is a little heavier than grouper, but it is still healthy. This is because fish has high vitamins and minerals as well, and the fat in this fish is good fat.

The taste

The taste of grouper is a slightly sweet fish, the red grouper being sweeter than the black grouper. Moreover, it is a firm fish that stays firm even after cooking, and since it is very mildly flavored, it absorbs flavoring very well. The skin of this fish is inedible, and only the flesh can be eaten because the skin is too tough.

The Murray cod is a very flavorful fish, especially because of its high-fat content. This fish is rich and juicy with broad flakes. This fish has no muddy taste and is a meaty fish with all parts of it being edible; this fish can even be eaten raw.


Even if both of these fish are not as popular as salmon and other fish that are eaten, they are still great fish with a lot of differences between them. The grouper and Murray cod have different appearances, habitats, sizes, mating rituals, nutritional values, and tastes. Hopefully, now you know which fish you like most, whether for eating or fishing for!

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