Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 11 spines and 15-17 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 8 rays. Pectoral fin with 18-20 rays. Gill rakers 6-8 on upper limb, 15-17 on lower limb. Body depth 2.8-3.3 in standard length. Interorbital area flat, but dorsal head profile convex. Preopercle round, rear edge finely serrate. Caudal fin slightly to moderately rounded. Colour: Pink, with red bands of variable intensity on sides and head. Triangular tips of membranes between dorsal spines black. Fins reddish orange, pale yellowish, green, or greenish brown.
Habitat and Biology: Occurs on coral reefs from the shore to a depth of 160 m. Feeds on a variety of crustaceans and fishes.
Remarks: The red bands on sides of Epinephelus fasciatus can be turned on and off quite rapidly, but the black tips on the dorsal fin are always present and are a useful aid to identification.