Snappers (Etelinae)


Snappers or jobfishes are found in tropical and subtropical waters of all oceans. They are excellent food fish. Some species of snappers can grow to about a meter in length. They are predatory fish with sharp, conical teeth and often with canine teeth. Snappers get their name from their tendency to snap or bite swiftly at food. Most of snappers will run with the food before eating it.

Most snappers form large schools that swim close to the bottom over reef or rocky ground. Certain species of snapper sometimes foray into freshwater in search of food. Snapper commonly feeds on fish, crustaceans and mollusk, particularly squid. Some species also eat plankton.

There are about 110 species of snappers that make up the Lutjanidae family worldwide. The Lutjanidae family are further break down into 4 subfamily which are the Lutjaninae, Etelinae, Apsilinae and Paradicichthyinae. There are 77 species under Lutjaninae which are the typical snappers, 19 species under Etelinae that are sometimes referred to as jobfishes, 12 species under Apsilinae that have a close resemblance to the fusiliers and 2 species under Paradicichthyinae that have long anterior dorsal soft ray.

Malaysia is represented by 10 genera and about 49 species of snappers. There are 33 species under Lutjaninae, 11 species under Etelinae, 3 species under Apsilinae and 2 species under Paradicichthyinae. This page only shows the Etelinae. They are distinguished from other Lutjanidae by their forked caudal fin and a close resemblance to the breams.


Scientific Name: Aprion virescens  Valenciennes, 1830
English Name: Green Jobfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 绿短鳍笛鲷 (Lǜ duǎn qí dí diāo), 嘉乐 (Jiā lè)
Local Malay Name: Kerisi Bali, Kerisi Basi, Guntur Hijau
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากะพงเขียว (Plā kaphng k̄heīyw)
Local Hokkien: Ka Lak
Main Identification Features: A very distinct horizontal groove present on snout in front of eye and below nostrils. Forked caudal fin. Pectoral fin shorter than pelvic fin. Body dark green, bluish, or grey-blue.
Size: Maximum standard length about 80 cm, commonly to 50 cm.

Scientific Name: Etelis carbunculus  Cuvier, 1828
English Name: Ruby Snapper, Deep-water Red Snapper, Short-tailed Red Snapper, Queen Snapper
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 红钻鱼 (Hóng zuān yú), 滨鲷 (Bīn diāo)
Local Malay Name: Kerisi Bali, Kerisi Basi, Kerisi-basi Delima
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีทอง (Plā s̄ī thong), ปลากะพงทับทิม (Plā kaphng thạbthim)
Main Identification Features: Moderately elongate with shallowly forked caudal fin. Dorsal fin deeply notched. Body colour red above and pinkish to white below. Distinct yellowish lateral line. Margins of the dorsal and caudal fins are red while the tip of the lower lobe of the caudal fin is white. Outer margin of operculum pointed.
Size: Maximum fork length 127 cm, commonly to 65 cm total length.

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Scientific Name: Pristipomoides multidens  (Day, 1871)
English Name: Goldbanded Jobfish, Day's Jobfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 多牙紫鱼 (Duō yá zǐ yú), 黄吻姬鲷 (Huángwěnjī diāo), 嘉乐 (Jiā lè)
Local Malay Name: Kerisi Bali, Ibu Kerisi
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีทอง (Plā s̄ī thong), ปลาสีเงิน (Plā s̄ī ngein)
Local Hokkien: Peh La, Ka Lak, Angkoli
Main Identification Features: Body and fins yellowish to rosy in colour, with about 6 broken golden stripes on sides. Dorsal fin with pale-bluish and yellowish spots. Side of snout and cheek with 2 golden stripes bordered with blue. Top of head with a series of chevron-shaped yellow bands.
Size: Maximum standard length more than 70 cm, commonly to 40 cm.

Scientific Name: Pristipomoides typus  Bleeker, 1852
English Name: Sharptooth Jobfish, Sharptooth Snapper
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 尖齿紫鱼 (Jiān chǐ zǐ yú),嘉乐 (Jiā lè)
Local Malay Name: Kerisi Batu, Ibu Kerisi, Kerisi Bali Ros
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาทรายแดงใหญ่ (Plā thrāy dæng h̄ıỵ̀), ปลากะพงสีน้ำเงิน (Plā kaphng s̄īn̂ảngein)
Local Hokkien: Ka Lak
Main Identification Features: Body and fins colour rosy red. Top of head with longitudinal brownish yellow vermiculations and spots of brownish yellow. Pectoral fins long, reaching level of anus. Dorsal fin with wavy yellow lines.
Size: Maximum standard length 70 cm, commonly to 35 cm.