Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Ocyurus chrysurus, Yellowtail Snapper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

elongate, oval
grey + yellow stripe & fins
D X, 12-13, no notch, last ray not elongated
soft D & A scaled
C forked, lobes elongated
sides roof mouth: 2 pr tooth patches

Ocyurus chrysurus (Bloch, 1791)

Yellowtail Snapper

Body elongate, head pointed, upper and lower profiles similar; 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,with a few large canines at front; patch of teeth on center of roof of mouth anchor shaped, with a narrow rear extension; each side of roof of mouth with 2 tooth patches; 21-23 lower gill rakers; preopercle serrated, lower margin notched; dorsal continuous, with almost no notch behind spiny part, usually X (rarely IX or XI), 12-13 (rarely14), last ray not elongated; anal fin III, 9 (rarely 8); tail fin deeply forked, with long lobes in large fish; body, cheek and operculum scaly; snout, below eye and both jaws scale-less; bases of soft dorsal and anal fins scaly.

A bright yellow stripe from tip of snout, through eye, back along midline, expanding at rear to cover all of tail base and all of tail fin; color above stripe red, olive or blue; color below stripe pink to white; dorsal, anal and pelvics mainly yellow or yellow green.

Reaches 86.3 cm; 4.1 kg.

Adults on reefs; juveniles over seagrass and weed beds.

Depth range: 0-180 m.

Massachusetts to SE Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic fish eggs
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
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
  • 86.3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 180