Snowy grouper, Epinephelus niveatus, can be found in the outer continental shelf of the South Atlantic Bight, which is characterized by ridges, terraces and precipitous cliffs. They are usually found in water depper than 400 feet.
The species is distributed in the western Atlantic from Massachusetts to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, the Lesser Antilles and the northern coast of Cuba. They may reach a maximum age of 17 years and a weight of 70 pounds. The snowy grouper is territorial, like most groupers, and waits to ambush its prey.
The coloration of this species varies with the size of the fish. Smaller fish are dark brown overall, punctuated with coin-size pearly white spots on the sides. A distinctive black, saddle-shaped blotch occurs on the caudal peduncle and extends down below the the lateral line.
Larger snowy groupers usually lose the white spots and caudal saddle and become dark brown with a slight coppery tint. The spiny portion of the dorsal fin has a black margin.