Animal Species:Queensland Groper, Epinephelus lanceolatus (Bloch, 1790)

The Queensland Groper is one of the largest bony fishes, and is the largest on coral reefs.  The species has been implicated in fatal attacks on humans, but none are fully documented.

Standard Common Name

Queensland Groper

Alternative Name/s

Giant Grouper


The Queensland Groper has a large mouth and a rounded caudal fin. Juveniles have irregular black and yellow markings. Adults are green-grey to grey-brown with faint mottling. There are numerous small black spots on the fins.

Size range

The species grows to at least 2.7 m in length and over 400 kg. It is one of the largest bony fishes, and is the largest on coral reefs.


It occurs in tropical waters throughout the Indo-Pacific but is also recorded occasionally in temperate waters.

In Australia it is known from the southern coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south to the southern coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

epinephelus lanceolatus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Queensland Groper specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Feeding and Diet

Crayfish have been reported as a favourite item of prey.

Economic/social impacts

The Queensland Groper has been implicated in fatal attacks on humans.



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Heemstra, P.C. & J.E. Randall. 1999. Serranidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. (eds) FAO species identification guide for Fishery purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 4. FAO. Pp. 2790.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  6. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.

Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Queensland Groper, Epinephelus lanceolatus, Serranidae, Giant Grouper, large mouth, dots/spots, black spots, > 2m, coral reef, tropical water, marine,