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what is the Mottled grouper? all features

Mottled grouper, although sometimes mistaken for orfoz by hunters, is not the same fish. Known by its scientific name Mycteroperca rubra, Mottled grouper is a different species of marine fish.

Scientific Name:Mycteroperca rubra
Origin:Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean, Aegean Sea
Adult Size:144 cm
Reproduction:They lay eggs
Breeding Season:Spring – Summer
Life Span:40-50 years
Fishing:No known restrictions


Mottled grouper is a marine fish species from the Serranidae family. They have been observed to reach a maximum length of 144 cm and a weight of 50 kg. However, Mottled grouper found along the coastlines of Turkey are generally smaller. On average, you might see them around 40 cm in length.

Due to its appearance, it can be mistaken for the orfoz fish. Its body is dark (reddish-brown), with white-grey spots. As the fish ages, these spots may fade. Additionally, a while after the fish has been caught (upon its death), these white-grey spots disappear.

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It has a pointed chin and a thin, long body. The lower part of the jaw is longer than the upper part and slopes upward.

Habitat And Diet

It’s a migratory species. Its habitat can change depending on the temperature of the area it’s in and the speed of the currents. They live in small groups made up of a few Mottled grouper. They are more commonly found in areas where the fish population is low.

They live in the mid-depth areas of their location. Even though their main living depth is between 15-30 meters, it’s known that they also live at depths up to 200 meters. In our country’s seas, they are predominantly found in the Mediterranean and also in the southern parts of the Aegean Sea.

Young Mottled grouper can often be seen in areas with rocks, sand, and mangrove roots. Mottled grouper, being carnivorous, feeds on mollusks and small fish. They feed in groups and can sometimes be seen surfacing when feeding on small schools of fish.

Mottled grouper Hunting

For hunting Mottled grouper, jigging, bottom trolling, spearfishing, and live baiting techniques are commonly used. Unlike the orfoz fish, this fish is a fighter. It continues to fight until it surfaces after taking the bait. This feature makes its hunting quite enjoyable.

Unlike most fish, it’s very intelligent and cunning. It can disappear in the blink of an eye. It’s a very fast and agile species relative to its size. This is the reason spearfishers call it the “Devil”. Also, its flesh is quite tasty.

There’s no hunting ban or protection for it. There’s no set limit in terms of size or quantity. According to legal regulations, you can hunt up to 5 kg per day.

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What is the Difference Between Mottled grouper and Orfoz Fish?

To distinguish the Mottled grouper, which is often mistaken for Orfoz, you just need to pay attention to a few points.

The main differences are:

  • The body of the Mottled grouper is thinner compared to Orfoz and is missile-shaped.
  • The color of Orfoz is different; it has a yellow-colored belly, a brown body, and yellow spots.
  • The lower jaw of Mottled grouper is longer than its upper jaw, and it has a pointed mouth structure.
  • While Orfoz observes the hunter from a distance, Mottled grouper approaches, looks, and then flees.

Is Mottled grouper Edible?

Yes, Mottled grouper is an edible marine creature. In fact, its flesh is very tasty, but it’s a somewhat difficult species to catch.

Kaynaklar: Fishbase

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