The speckled hind (Epinephelus drummondhayi), also known as the calico grouper, kitty mitchell or strawberry grouper, is a species of marine ray-finned fish, a grouper from the subfamily Epinephelinae which is part of the family Serranidae, which also includes the anthias and sea basses. It is found in Bermuda and off eastern coast of North America. Its natural habitats are open seas, shallow seas, subtidal aquatic beds, and coral reefs.
The speckled hind has a body which is robust, compressed and is deepest at the origin of the dorsal fin, its standard length is 2.4 to 2.6 times its depth and is equal to the length of the head. The maxilla is exposed when the mouth is closed. The margin of the gill cover bears three flat spines.= while the preopercle is serrated with enlarged spines at its angle. The dorsal fin has 11 spines and 14-16 soft rays while the anal fin contains 3 spines and 9 soft rays. The membrane of the dorsal fin has deep indentations between the spines. The caudal fin is rounded with acutely angled corners. There are 72-76 scales in the lateral line. The background colour of the head and body is dark reddish brown to grey, but it is densely speckled with tiny white spots, these sometimes merge to form a network pattern in larger individuals, the outer part of the pectoral fin is yellowish. The juveniles are bright yellow and are covered in small blue-white spots. This species attains a total length of 120 centimetres (47 in) and a maximum weight of 30 kilograms (66 lb).
Speckled hind adults are found on offshore areas with rocky substrates at depths of 60 and 120 metres (200 and 390 ft). The juveniles are typically found in shallower waters than the adults. Like other groupers, the specjkled hind is a predatory fish and the prey taken includes other fishes, crustaceans such as crab, shrimp and lobsters as well as molluscs such as squid. They are protogynous hermaphrodites and gather in aggregations to spawn. The femalwes become sexually mature at 4 or 5 years oold and at 45 to 60 centimetres (18 to 24 in) in total length and the sex change to male takes place between 7 and 14 years old. it is a long lived species which may have a life span of up to 80 years.
|Scientific Name:||Epinephelus drummondhayi|
|Ideal Temp:||70-84ºF (21-29ºC)|
|Technique:||Bottom Fishing, Jigging|
|Lure Type:||Bottom Rig, Jigs|
|World Record:||23.81 kg (52 lb 8 oz) Destin, Florida, USA 21-Oct-1994|
|Other Names:||speckled hind, kitty mitchell, calico grouper, strawberry grouper|
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