Occurs mainly over rocky and muddy bottoms. Uncommon around coral reefs. Usually rests on the bottom (Ref. 9710). Juveniles may be found in shallow water, but adults are usually taken from depths of 70-330 m (Ref. 13442). Feeds on a wide variety of fishes and invertebrates. A protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 55367). Most females transform to males between ages 7 to 14. Susceptible to red tide toxin (Ptychodiscus brevi) (Ref. 5222). Marketed fresh or frozen. The world record for hook and line, 39 lbs., from Cape Canaveral, Florida (Ref. 13442).