Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Lutjanus inermis, Golden snapper, Pacific rabirrubia

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark lines along scale rows
C: forked, fin & base yellow
roof mouth - tooth patch triangular, with short rear extension

Lutjanus inermis (Peters, 1869)

Golden Snapper, Pacific Rabirrubia

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 triangular, with a short pointed rear extension; sides of roof of mouth with 1 tooth patch; 16-17 gill rakers; preopercle serrated, lower margin notched; dorsal rays X, 13, dorsal continuous; anal rays III, 11; soft dorsal and anal with pointed ends; tail forked; bases of soft dorsal and anal fins scaly; scale rows on upper back rising obliquely above lateral line.

Generally reddish with narrow brown stripes on side, those above lateral line obliquely directed; peduncle and caudal fin yellowish; a white to yellow blotch below base of posteriormost dorsal rays.

Size: grows to 39 cm.

Habitat: common around rocky reefs, sometimes forming large diurnal aggregations in midwater; juveniles may be mimics of the damselfish Chromis atrilobata and are often seen swimming with them.

Depth: 0-70 m.

Southern Baja and the mouth of the Gulf of California to Colombia and Cocos, Malpelo, Cocos and Galapagos

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Water column
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Corals
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 39
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 70