Photo courtesy Reid Murphy
Maturity at: 35 cm in length
Max Published Size: 125 cm and 52 pounds
TnT Record: 20 pounds (unofficial)
TnT Season: Year round
IUCN status: Near threatened
General Information: Always prefering muddy or rocky bottoms, is uncommon around coral reefs. Adults are usually found very deep from 200 to 900 ft while juveniles may be found in shallow water. Feed on crabs, shrimps, small spiny lobsters and sometimes small fish. They are long-lived and slow to mature, also protogynous hermaphrodites, where females transform to males after certain age. These characteristics make them susceptible to overfishing. They excavate pits on the seafloor, using their mouths and tails. Marketed fresh or frozen their flesh is of excellent quality.