The highfin grouper, Epinephelus maculatus, is a fairly large grouper with an elevated first part of the dorsal fin. There are two white saddles on the front of the dorsal fin and in the middle. The body color is light brown, covered in polygonal, dark brown, spots, including the fins. They are solitary.
Stated as Least Concern according to the IUCN Red list. The highfin grouper is a fairly common species throughout the Indian Ocean and Pacific, and there are no known threats that forces populations into decline.
Epinephelus maculatus is a Pacific Ocean species found from the Cocos-Keeling Islands to Line islands, north to southern Japan, south to southeastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. They also occur in the Indian Ocean. They prefer lagoons, sandy bottoms , coral heads and usually hang around the bases of reefs, in a depth range of 2-100 meters.
Up to 60 cm.
They feed mainly on sand-dwelling fish, crustaceans and octopus.
The genus Epinephelus is very large, and many species resemble features. Getting a detailed picture of the tail, dorsal fin and body patterns will give you a good lead to finding the species.