Misty Grouper, Hyporthodus mystacinus


The Misty grouper, (Hyporthodus mystacinus), is a somewhat mysterious grouper species because most fishermen may have never seen or heard of this fish by name very often.

This video gives a great underwater perspective of ‘deep dropping’. At about 1:17, you will see the Misty grouper come into the footage.

Quick Misty Grouper Facts

  • Scientific name: Hyporthodus mystacinus
  • Family: Serranidae
  • Previously in the genus Epinephelus
  • Other name: Mystic Grouper or Mustache Grouper
  • Common Habitat: Rocks and ledges
  • Deepwater fish: Typically in depths of 30 – 400 m
  • Physical characteristics: 6 to 9 vertical brown bars
  • Adult coloring: Chocolate brown with pale spots and dark bars on head and body

Misty Grouper Range of Distribution

This large grouper species can typically be found along deepwater rocks and ledges thoughout the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the Western Atlantic edges. This would include up to North Carolina, Florida, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Yucatan, Eastern coast of Mexico and Eastern Central America.

Also across the Virgin Islands, Leeward Islands and the Eastern Pacific around the Galapagos Islands.


I have not yet found any Creative Commons pictures of this grouper species that I can include on this page.

(If you have one I can post here, then please send to me, thanks.)

Feeds On …

The misty grouper survives on what it can catch. However, it will typically target crabs, shrimps, lobsters, squid, octopus and bony fishes.

Commercially Fished

The species is open to commercial fishing and is regulated and managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC).

. Age estimates and scientific comparison.

Have you ever caught one?