Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 9 spines and 14-16 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 9 rays. Pectoral fin with 17-18 rays. Body depth 2.4-2.9 in standard length. Preopercle rounded, finely serrate, lower edge fleshy. Edge of subopercle and interopercle distinctly serrate. Pelvic fins reach or slightly short of anus. Caudal fin rounded.
Colour: Pale orange to orange yellow, with fin spots on head and anterior dorsally on body and on base of dorsal fin. Posterior margin of caudal fin with a pale blue edge and black sub-marginal line.
Habitat and Biology: Deep water grouper usually caught in depths over 100 m.
Distribution: Western Indian Ocean.
Remarks: Cephalopholis aurantia is not encountered very often because it is a deep dweller. Very similar to C. spiloparaea, which differs in colour and C. sonnerati, which differs in colour pattern and in having a greater body depth and more scales.