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Species: Lutjanus vivanus, Silk Snapper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

red, iris & pectoral yellow
juv: black spot under soft D
D usually 14
roof mouth tooth patch: anchor shaped
upper canines much larger
A 8, end pointed

Lutjanus vivanus (Cuvier, 1828)

Silk Snapper

Body oblong, 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, upper canines much larger than lower canines; 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; 16-17 lower gill rakers; preopercle serrated; dorsal continuous, often with slight notch behind spiny part, X, 14 (occasionally 13); anal III, 8 (rarely 7), tip of fin pointed in fish >6 cm SL; tail edge slightly concave; body, cheek and operculum scaly; snout, below eye and both jaws scale-less; lateral scales 50-53; scales below lateral line 20-24; scales above lateral line 10-12; membranes of soft dorsal and anal fins scaly.

Back and upper sides red to pink, lighter below; body sometimes with light bars; iris bright yellow; fins reddish, dorsal and anal with some yellow; rear edge of tail fin dark; pectorals pale yellow. Juveniles: fish up to 25 cm SL with a black or dark red spot on upper side below front of soft dorsal

Reaches 84 cm; 8.3 kg.

On sand, gravel and coral bottoms.

Depth range: 40-450 m; adults below 90 m.

N Carolina to SE Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Corals
  • 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 84
Depth Range Min
  • 40
Depth Range Max
  • 450