Snapper: Malabar Blood Snapper


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Malabar Blood Snappers (Lutjanus malabaricus) are widespread in the Indo-West Pacific, from the Fiji Islands to the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf, and from Australia to southern Japan. They are excellent food fish that can attain a maximum total length of 100 cm. They are red or red-orange in colour, including their fins. Juveniles are easier to recognize as they have a broad, oblique band of brown or black from upper jaw to beginning of dorsal fin, and a prominent black band across caudal peduncle with a pearly white anterior border. A series of narrow reddish horizontal lines may also be found on younger fish that disappear in adults. Adult Malabar Blood Snappers are distinguished from other red snapper by their relatively deep body, straight or slightly concave snout profile, large mouth, and long maxilla. They are found in both coastal and offshore reefs from depths of 12 m to 100 m. Juveniles tend to inhabit shallow inshore waters while larger fish live in deeper waters. They feed mainly on small fishes and benthic crustaceans.