Island Grouper – Mycteroperca fusca

The Island Grouper, also known as Comb Grouper, is a species in the order of the Perciformes and thus belongs to the superclass of the bony fish. In the IUCN Red List, he is classified as endangered. It was first described in 1836 by Lowe under the scientific name Serranus fuscus.

Island Grouper - Mycteroperca fusca Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean
Island Grouper – Mycteroperca fusca


Mycteroperca fusca has an elongated body, which is laterally compressed. Its colour is dark grey with irregular, light or dark spots. Young fish, on the other hand, are brownish-greenish-coloured with white spots. Under stress, he can change the colour of his body. Dark becomes bright and reversed. Adult females can also be golden.
Its fins are usually spotted or striped.
The Island Grouper also has a large mouth that reaches to the eye and the lower jaw surpasses the upper jaw. His eye is large as well and stands out slightly.
It reaches a maximum size of 1m and it can weigh more than 8kg.

Habitat and Distribution

The Islands Grouper is usually found near rocky reefs, down to a depth of 200m. Juvenile fishes also sometimes live in tidal pools.
When diving in the Canaries you can observe it from time to time. However, it is mostly young specimens. The general distribution area of Mycteroperca fusca includes the islands of Macaronesia. These are the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands and the Savage Islands.


The Island Grouper lives solitary and shows a territorial behaviour. Mostly they have at least one cave as a retreat.
Its food consists of small fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. When hunting Mycteroperca fusca opens its mouth quickly and this sucks the prey into its mouth automatically.

For breeding they come together in groups and spawn into the open water.

Their maximum age is about 40 years.

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