Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA to Paraíba, Brazil.
The most common species of Epinephelus in the West Indies.
Found in shallow reefs and rocky bottoms. Usually solitary and territorial. Feeds mainly on crabs (Calapa and Mithrax) and other crustaceans (alpheid shrimps and scyllarid lobsters), fishes (labrids and haemulids), and octopus.
Some undergo sexual inversion at 28 cm TL; most fish larger than 40 cm are males.
Important in terms of numbers caught and total weight of landings in the Caribbean.
Easily approached by divers.
Hermaphrodite species. Excellent food fish. Readily caught on hook and line and easily speared.