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Blue Groper

Gergo Rugli

Great Southern Reef Foundation

Great Southern Reef Foundation

Blue groper are the largest carnivorous bony fish species found living on the Great Southern Reef, reaching lengths well over a metre and weights of up to 40 kilograms. Despite its name the blue groper is not actually a groper (Family Serranidae) at all, but a member of the wrasse family (Labridae). All blue groper begin life as females and some, but not all, change sex to males later in life. The eastern blue groper in this image is a large male. The GSR supports both eastern and western blue groper. The separation of the two species can be traced back to the Ice Age, when waters became cooler and the blue groper population likely split and moved up the west and east coasts, so they could stay warm and in their preferred temperature range.

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