The Red Grouper is restricted to the coastal waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, where it is a dominant predator of the coral reef environment. Red Groupers are non-migratory fish that are most abundant in water from 50 to 300 feet deep. They seek out shelters among rocks or in holes and are often seen resting directly on the bottom. The Red Grouper is named for its dark reddish brown coloring, fading to pink on the undersides, with a scattering of white spots and blotches. It is large bodied and robust like most other Groupers, but the Red Grouper is distinguished by its large, spiny dorsal fin, longer pectoral fins, and shorter pelvic fins. Red Grouper reach a maximum length of 4 feet and maximum weight of 51 pounds. They are believed to live as long as 25 to 30 years. As a top predator, the Red Grouper is very important to the overall health of the reef environment. Red Grouper in Key West waters will be found in large schools on almost any reef or wreck in water up to about 120 feet deep. They also hang around the edges of the patch reefs along with Black and Gag Groupers.
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