Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 9 spines and 14-16 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 9 rays. Pectoral fin with 17-19 rays. Body depth 2.6-3.2 in standard length. Eyes large, inter-orbital area flat. Maxilla scaly. Preopercle rounded, very finely serrate, with a shallow notch; lower edge fleshy. Subopercle and interopercle smooth with minute serrae. Pelvic fins not reaching anus.
Colour: Light red, mottled and blotched with brownish-red. Caudal fin with a bluish white posterior margin that becomes sub-marginal at corners. Distal margin of soft dorsal and anal fins with a pale bluish margin.
Habitat and Biology: Known only from insular localities. Inhabits coral reefs with clear waters at depths of 15-108 m. Most common below 40 m.
Remarks: Cephalopholis spiloparaea is perhaps the most common grouper in the Indo-Pacific below 40 m. It is sometimes confused with C. aurantia, but this species has a black line preceding the thin blue-white band on the caudal fin.