Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Lutjanus cyanopterus, Cubera Snapper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

grey-brown, back with 8-9 pale bars
juv: stronger body bars
D usually 14
fins dark
roof mouth tooth patch: triangular/crescent
top & bottom canines v strong
A 7-8, end rounded
LL 45-47

Lutjanus cyanopterus (Cuvier, 1828)

Cubera Snapper

Body relatively slender, compressed; front and rear nostrils simple holes; mouth relatively large, top jaw moderately protrusible, slips under cheek bone for most of its length when mouth is closed; one or more rows of pointed conical teeth on jaws, very strong canines at front of top and bottom jaws; a triangular or crescent shaped patch of teeth without a rear extension on center of roof of mouth; sides of roof of mouth with 1 pair of tooth patches; 11-14 lower gill rakers; preopercle serrated, lower margin weakly notched; dorsal continuous, often with slight notch behind spiny part, usually X, 14; anal III, 8 (7-8), fin tip rounded; tail edge slightly concave; body, cheek and operculum scaly; snout, below eye and both jaws scale-less; lateral line scales 45-47; cheek with 9 (8-10) rows of scales; membranes of soft dorsal and anal fins scaly.

Back and upper sides grey, with reddish tinges, particularly at front; often 8-9 pale bars on upper half of body; dorsal and tail fins grey, anal and pelvics reddish. Juvenile: more prominently barred than adult.

Reaches 160 cm; 57 kg.

Juveniles inshore, around mangrove; adults in mangroves, reefs and rocky bottoms.

Depth range: 1-128 m, adults usually in < 40 m.

Nova Scotia to SE Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Corals
  • Estuary
  • Mangrove
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 160
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 128