Epinephelus is genus of moderate to large or very large in sized fishes. Opercle with 3 spines; lower preopercular edge smooth. Mandible prominent; maxillae more or less scaly; supramaxillae present. Large canines; on both jaws teeth of inner series depressible. Dorsal fin single IX-XI + 13-20; anal fin III + 7-10; caudal finrounded, marginate or truncate. Scales ctenoid, small, embedded in thick skin, often cycloid on head; lateral line of about 70-140 scales. Colours often bright. Benthic on the shelf and upper slope in all tropical and subtropical seas; many species on reefs. Strictly benthic, in close contact with bottom for food and shelter. Usually solitary and sedentary. Voracious predators feeding on fishes and invertebrates, chiefly crustaceans. Protogyny very frequent, perhaps general. Eggs and larvae pelagic. Young stages with elongate preopercularspines and some fin rays. Appreciated as food and often commercially important. All species in this genus are referred to as hinds, which also includes many groupers. They are found in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico along the North American coast, with the exception of the red hind (E. guttatus), which ranges from the Carolinas to Brazil. The rock hind (E. adscensionis), ranging from New England to the West Indies, may reach 61 cm (24 inches); the speckled hind (E. drummondhayi) of the coastal region of the southeastern United States is somewhat smaller, reaching a length of 46 cm (19 inches).