Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Lutjanus jocu, Dog Snapper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

grey + white triangle under eye
juv: oblique head stripe
D usually 14
juv: oblique stripe snout to nape; body no dark bars; 8-11 scales in oblique rows above LL
roof mouth tooth patch: anchor shaped
upper canines much larger
pectoral long
A 8, end rounded
LL 46-49

Lutjanus jocu (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Dog Snapper

Body relatively deep, 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, 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 (rarely 13); anal III, 8, fin tip rounded; pectoral fin long, length >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 46-49; scales above lateral line 8-11, in oblique rows; membranes of soft dorsal and anal fins scaly.

Back and upper sides olive, with a bronze tint, sometimes with pale bars; reddish to coppery below; a pale triangle under eye; a blue line or series of blue spots below eye and across opercle. Juvenile: more strongly colored than adult, with a dark oblique stripe from snout through eye to top corner of operculum, NO dark bars on body.

Reaches 128 cm; 28.6 kg.

Adults on reefs; juveniles in estuaries and rivers – occasionally in fresh water.

Depth range: 5-181 m.

New England to SE Brazil.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • 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)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
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
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 128
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 181