Usually Epinephelus, who get their name from the Greek word epinefelos meaning 'cloud' due to the variegated markings on their bodies, have a stocky body and an oval shape. The head is well-developed with a large mouth and the operculum have spines along the rear edges. The dorsal fin has spinney rays at the front and the caudal is ample and rounded. They are usually brown with irregular variegated lighter markings that appear as diffuse vertical bands. The tone of the colourings may vary based on surrounding conditions.
Reproduction takes place in the summer when sexually mature individuals tend to group together in limited areas at a depth of approx. 15 - 30 metres. When it reaches an age of 10 - 12 years the brown grouper changes sex, from female to male.