The warsaw grouper, Epinephelus nigritus,is the only member of the genus Epinephelous that has 10 dorsal spines, the second of which is much longer than the third.
The color is a grayish brown to dark reddish-brown background with numerous small, irregular white blotches on the sides. All of the fins are dark brown, except the white-splotched spiny portion of the dorsal fin.
The warsaw grouper has a wider distribution along the southern United States than the other large grouper, the goliath grouper ( E. itajara). Warsaw range from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and throughout much of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to the northern coast of South America.
The species inhabits irregular bottom, notches, valleys, and drop-offs, occuring in the continental shelf break in waters 350 to 650 feet deep. Other species inhabiting this productive deep-water zone are snowy and yellowedge groupers, tilefish, and silk snappers.
Warsaw are long-lived, reaching up to 6 feet and over 300 pounds. The warsaw’s huge mouth enables it to engulf prey whole after capturing it.