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Species: Lutjanus griseus, Gray Snapper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

grey +/- oblique head stripe
juv: strong bars, D edge blackish
D usually 14
roof mouth tooth patch: anchor shaped
large upper canines
pectoral short
A 8 end rounded
LL 43-47

Lutjanus griseus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Gray Snapper

Body relatively slender (depth 32-37% SL), compressed, head relatively pointed; 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, strong canines at front of top jaws; an anchor shaped patch of teeth with a rear extension on center of roof of mouth; sides of roof of mouth with 1 pair of tooth patches; 12-14 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; pectoral fin short, length ~same as distance from snout tip to rear edge of preopercle; tail edge slightly concave; body, cheek and operculum scaly; snout, below eye and both jaws scale-less; lateral line scales 43-47; membranes of soft dorsal and anal fins scaly.

Variable: back and upper sides grey-green to dark olive, with a reddish tinge; lower parts paler; often a broad oblique dark bar from tip of snout through eye to origin of dorsal fin; sometimes with pale bars on upper body. Juvenile: more prominently barred than adult, often with a blue line on cheek; outer edge of dorsal fin blackish.

Reaches ~66 cm. (Larger records likely are L. cyanopterus).

Mangroves, sloughs, estuaries, reefs, lower reaches of rivers, occasionally in fresh water.

Depth: 1-180 m.

Both sides of the Atlantic; Massachusetts south throughout the Caribbean. Records of this species in Brazil refer to L. alexandrei.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Corals
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • 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
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North 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
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 66
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 180