Plectohinchus spp. Crescent or Giant Sweet Lip Grunt

Images: 
Plectorhinchus spp.jpg

Unidentified Seweetlip Grunt sighted at Blue Heron Bridge in Palm Beach Florida at 20 fsw two weeks ago.  My guess is it is either a Giant Sweet Lip Grunt (P. albovittatus) or the Crescent Sweetlip (P. cinctus).   Any Opinions?

Mystery Fish

I'd be inclined to say that is a seabass, but I don't think it's one of the seabasses native to Florida. Perhaps it's a speckled grouper (Epinephelus cyanopodus). Native to the West Pacific: S. China Sea and Marshall Islands in Micronesia to Fiji-SW Japan to Australia. (See REEF Fish Identification Tropical Pacific). Are you sure you saw this fish in Florida? 

Yes -- spotted grouper

I conferred with Paul Humann, and he came to the same conclusion. Spotted (or Speckled) Grouper, Epinephelus cyanopodus. See the picture posted at http://www.austmus.gov.au/fishes/fishfacts/fish/ecyanop3.htm.  Definitel a non-native for the REEFs of West Palm Beach, Florida.  Look at the native grunts in the background and fin of a surgeonfish in the foreground.  Good ID work Josh! -- Christy Semmens, REEF Director of Science

Thanks Christy!

I was just taking a shower and remembered seeing the french grunt in the background. Is the spotted grouper a common aquarium fish?

Reporting Nonindigenous Marine Fishes of Florida

This nonindigenous isn't reported in my copy of "Field Guide to the Nonindigenous Marine Fishes of Florida". You should go to their web site and do a report with your photo. I know NOAA folks will appreciate it. The website to report is http://nas.er.usgs.gov/sightingreport.aspx. ~Carol

That's a Speckled Grouper. A

I'm 100% sure that's a Speckled Grouper. A big one at that!
They aren't native to Florida, but there are a lot of tropical fish breeding facilities and suppliers in South Florida. It could be a fugitive from one of those facilities.

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