A grouper in the Serranidae family, the rock hind is found in the same range as the red hind and is also good table fare. Divers can often distinguish the two species by their behavior alone, as the rock hind is reclusive and shies away from humans.
The rock hind has an overall tan to olive-brown cast, with many large, reddish to dark dots covering the entire body and the fins. Similar in appearance to the red hind, it has one to four distinctive pale or dark splotches along its back, appearing below the middle of the dorsal ﬁn, behind the dorsal ﬁn on the caudal peduncle, and below the spinous and the soft parts of the dorsal ﬁn. The tail and the anal ﬁns have broad, whitish outer edges but lack the additional blackish margins found on the dorsal, the caudal, and the anal ﬁns of the red hind. The rock hind can pale or darken dramatically.
The rock hind can reach 2 feet in length; the all-tackle world-record fish is a 9-pounder.
Food and feeding habits
Ordinarily feeding on crabs and ﬁsh, rock hind are said to feed on juvenile triggerﬁsh and young sea turtles at Ascension Island.
grouper, jack, rock cod; French: mérou oualioua; Portuguese: garoupapintada; Spanish: mero cabrilla.
In the western Atlantic, rock hind occur from Massachusetts to southeastern Brazil, including Bermuda, the Bahamas, the eastern Caribbean, and the northern Gulf of Mexico; they are rare north of Florida.
Solitary ﬁsh, rock hind inhabit rocky or rough inshore regions in shallow waters, although they occasionally inhabit deep reefs. They are often found drifting near the bottom.