Peacock Grouper


Photo Credit: Keoki Stender

Peacock Grouper (Cephalopholis argus)


  • Dark brown body with small blue spots and blue to purple fins (FishBase, 2017)
  • Large pale area on chest and light vertical stripes on back half of body (FishBase, 2017)
  • Can reach up to 24 inches in length (STRC, 2015)


  • Occurs on coral reefs typically less than 40 feet in depth (STRC, 2015)
  • Prefers warm, tropical water (USGS, 2021)

Impacts & Concern:

  • Spread through main Hawaiian islands and has become a dominant predator on reefs (USGS, 2021) 


  • Intentionally stocked as sportfish in Hawaiʻi in 1956 (USGS, 2021)
  • Quickly became established and was a popular game fish by the 1970s (USGS, 2021)

Distribution in Hawaii (USGS 2021):

  • Kauai: Present
  • O‘ahu: Present
  • Molokai: Present
  • Lanai: Present
  • Maui: Present
  • Big Island: Present


  • FishBase. (2017). Cephalopholis argus summary page. 
  • USGS. (2021). peacock hind (Cephalopholis argus) – Species Profile. 
  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Center. (2015). Species: Cephalopholis argus (Peacock Grouper). Shorefishes – The Fishes – Species.