There are many species of serranids, including the sea basses and the groupers (subfamily Epinephelinae). They range in size from the belted sandfish (Serranus subligarius) which grows to 4 1/2" up to the jewfish (Epinephelus itajara) which grows to 7'10" and weighs up to 680 lbs.
Many of these species are brightly colored, and many are caught commercially for food. They are usually found over reefs, in tropical to sub-tropical waters along the coasts. Many species are sequential hermaphrodites, starting out as males and changing sex to female later in life. They produce large quantities of eggs and their larvae are planktonic, generally at the mercy of ocean currents until they are ready to settle into adult populations.