Serranidae - Sea Bass
The 450 species of sea basses have strong, well-built, "bass-like" bodies. These fish are associated with tropical and temperate reefs and inshore environments. They have large mouths and lips, and a jutting lower jaw. The long continuous dorsal fin is noticeably divided into two parts. The fore portion is constructed of sharp spines that can be held erect or lowered; the rear is soft and quite flexible. Groupers are the best known members of the seabass family. They vary in size from the giant Jewfish (aka Goliath Grouper) that grows to eight feet to the small Coney. They are solitary carnivores that live close to the bottom. Some members of seabass are small and more colorful than the groupers.