| Ecological Descriptors
|Co, R (S)
||Pisc, Cru, Wor, Mol
Body oblong-shaped, with a triangular head and a tailed tail. Body silvery to white, often tinged with blue. A prominent mid-lateral yellow band runs from the snout to the tail. May also have yellow spots in the blue dorsal area. The lower sides and belly are whitish with narrow reddish and yellow stripes. Dorsal and tail fins yellow, the anal and ventral fins whitish. Slightly upturned snout with a large mouth and prominent canine teeth near the front of the jaw. Head relatively small, lower jaw projecting slightly beyond the upper.
Inhabits coastal waters, mostly around coral reefs, most common to 20 m, but reported to 180 m. Young individuals are found in shallow vegetation and on shallow hardbottom. With growth, individuals move to shallow coral reef areas. Usually seen in aggregations. Feeds mainly at night, on a combination of planktonic and benthic animals, including fish, crustaceans, worms, gastropods and cephalopods. Young individuals are usually found over weed beds. They feed primarily on plankton.
Spawning can occur throughout the year, less so in winter. Eggs are laid in a pelagic environment. Eggs are spherical in shape with a droplet of oil to provide buoyancy and are released in open waters. Fecundity is approximately 100,000-1.5 million eggs per female at a size of 292-382mm. Sparsely-pigmented larvae are produced after 24 hours when the eggs hatch. At lengths of less than 10mm, the lutjanid larvae are planktonic and they then settle away from the plankton on substrate that provides protection from predators. The growth rate of the yellowtail snapper was found to be 3.3mm/month. The males typically mature at approximately 26cm fork length and the females at 26-31cm (9 - 12 in), by age 3 years. Females can reach 50% maturity at 20 to 30 cm, or at an average age of 1.7 to 2 years. Lives for up to 17 years.