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Red Snapper Lutjanus campechanus


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Red Snapper
credit: NOAA

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Family: Lutjanidae, Snappers view all from this family

Description The red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, is a fish found in the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States and, much less commonly, northward as far as Massachusetts. In Latin American Spanish it is known as huachinango or pargo. The red snapper commonly inhabits waters thirty to two hundred feet deep, but some are reported to be caught at three hundred feet deep. All feature a sloped profile, medium-to-large scales, a spiny dorsal fin and a laterally compressed body. The maximum published age of a caught red snapper was reported to be fifty-seven years old. Coloration of the red snapper is light red, with more intense pigment on the back. A red snapper attains sexual maturity at 2–5 years old. An adult snapper can live for more than 50 years and weigh 50 pounds. Red snapper are a prized food fish, caught commercially, as well as recreationally. Red snapper is the most commonly caught snapper in the continental USA (almost 50% of the total catch), with similar species being more common elsewhere. When "red snapper" is sold in restaurants, it may be one of similar snapper species or rockfish in order to meet demand or reduce costs.

Dimensions Up to 31" (79 cm).

Habitat Open ocean, Ocean or bay shallows, Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes.

Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas.