General Description

A large stocky wrasse with a single long-based dorsal fin, a large almost square tail, thick fleshy lips, large heavy scales and peg-like teeth. Adults have a hump on their forehead. Adult males are bright blue to greenish-blue while females are typically reddish-brown to brown, often with random pale spots or blotches. Juveniles are greyish or greyish-brown with spots or blotches. To 1.2 m and a weight of 18 kg.


Although most adults live around exposed coastal and offshore rocky reefs, individuals occasionally move into estuaries. Juveniles up to about 10 cm in length inhabit seagrass beds in bays and estuaries then move to rocky reefs covered in macroalgae such as kelp. Blue gropers are benthic carnivores, feeding on a wide range of invertebrates, including crabs and other crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms. They live in small groups or 'harems' with a large male and a number of females and juveniles. They are hermaphrodites and individuals change sex from females to males during their life cycle. Their numbers appear to be increasing in eastern Victorian and Tasmanian waters. Blue Gropers are popular with scuba divers.


Eastern and south-eastern Australia. In eastern Victoria, unlikely to occur west of Wilsons Promontory.


Exposed doastal and offshore reefs covered in macroalgae, in depths of 1-60+ m; juveniles shelter amongst seagrasses and macro-algae in bays and estuaries.

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