A new species of grouper, Epinephelus tankahkeei sp. nov. is described from the South China Sea based on examination of morphological and molecular characteristics. This new species has been treated as, and is similar to, its congener E. chlorostigma . Epinephelus tankahkeei sp. nov. can be distinguished from E. chlorostigma by the following combination of characters: a convex anal fin; closer dark spots on the body; a lack of dark spots on the abdomen, cheek, and pectoral fin; the absence of a clear posterior white margin on the caudal fin. Molecular analyses of the mitochondrial COI sequence variation, genetic distances, and a phylogeny, all highly support E. tankahkeei sp. nov. as a distinct species. A key to E. tankahkeei sp. nov. and its most closely related species is provided.