The humpback grouper is known to be territorial and somewhat aggressive, particularly towards smaller fish. This solitary predator hides in the rocks before ambushing its prey (6), which typically comprises fish and crustaceans (5). It is thought that the species’ ‘polka-dot’ pattern of colouration may disrupt the contour of its body and thereby help camouflage it from prey and would-be predators (6).
Females lay eggs that are then fertilised by the male externally, and neither the eggs nor hatched young are guarded or protected in any way by the parents. Only females hatch, with males being produced as necessary by the dominant females within a group changing sex from female to male. If a male dies, the next dominant female will undergo a sex change to replace him (6).