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Species: Lutjanus aratus, Mullet snapper

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body light + dark lines
roof mouth - tooth patch a V or crescent

Lutjanus aratus (Günther, 1864)

Mullet Snapper

Body elongate; front and rear nostrils simple holes; mouth relatively large and protractile; teeth conical to caniniform, those at front of jaws generally enlarged and fang-like; tooth patch at central roof of mouth V-shaped or crescentic, without a rear extension; sides of roof of mouth with 1 tooth patch; 16-17 gill rakers; preopercle serrated, lower margin notched; dorsal rays XI-XII, 12, fin continuous; anal rays III, 7-8; soft dorsal and anal with rounded ends; tail edge concave; bases of soft dorsal and anal fins scaly; scale rows on upper back parallel to lateral line.

Grey to greenish, darker on back; centre of each scale yellowish white forming alternating dark and light stripes on side; fins grey; fish from deeper water sometimes reddish, with red fins.

Size: reaches about 100 cm and at least 15kg

Habitat: juveniles found in coastal embayments and estuaries, adults range into clear, deep waters and sometimes form large aggregations in midwater over rocky bottoms.

Depth: 0-70 m.

Southern Baja California to the central Gulf of California to northern Peru, including Cocos the Galapagos and Malpelo.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Rocks
  • Estuary
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 100
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 70