The term covers a few genera, although the majority of groupers are found in the big and varied family of Serranidae. Some of the biggest marine fish are found within this family, like the enormous Potato Cod, but equally there are many exquisite small species as well, and it is mostly those that come to the aquarium market.
The Coral Trout (plectropomus leopardus) is a common Indo-Pacific species of what we term “Mini-groupers”. The strong red body colour, liberally splattered with pale electric-blue spots, creates interest and admiration wherever the species is displayed.
Loosely classed as a “grouper” the Marine Betta, or Comet Fish, (calloplesiops altivelis) is an amazing combination of extravagant finnage and equally extravagant spotting. It is said that the false eye-spot and finnage formation mimics the head of a moray eel and deters would-be predators from attacking them when they have fled head-first into a protective crevice.