- Although the flesh of the almaco jack is considered quality table fare, the species has been associated with ciguatera poisoning, a seldom fatal stomach irritation.
- The almaco jack is susceptible to tapeworm parasites in the caudal peduncle area, but the meat can be eaten safely if affected portions are cut away.
Scamp have stout, elongated bodies that are similar in shape to the body of a largemouth bass. They are usually light gray or brown, but can change their color to match their environment. For this reason, they display a wide range of colors from gray to deep red. Their sides are covered with reddish-brown spots that tend to be grouped in horizontal lines. There is some yellow around the corner of the mouth. Scamp have the large mouth common of grouper. The back of the tail fin is concave, and the anal fin has one sharply pointed ray in the middle that extends well beyond the other rays. The dorsal fins are connected, the first with 11 spines and the second with 16 to 18 soft rays.
The feeding habits of scamp have not been closely studied. Biologists do know that they are ambush hunters, like many other grouper. They feed on small fish, squid, octopus, shrimp and crabs, as well as freshly dead fish or other sea animals.
Scamp are a western Atlantic species that is found from the eastern coast of the United States through the Caribbean Sea to Venezuela. They are common up to North Carolina, and some scamp, particularly the juveniles, can be found as far north as Massachusetts.
Both an inshore and offshore species, scamp prefer complex structures, and are frequently found at reefs, jetties, pilings and wrecks in depths from just below the surface to 300 feet. Adults move inshore when the water temperature falls below 47 F, while juveniles are common in inshore estuaries and bays. Off the East Coast of Florida, scamp are the most abundant grouper in areas of oculina coral formations, an especially brittle kind of coral reef (also known as ivory tree coral).
- The closest species to scamp are the black, gag, and yellowfin groupers.