Lutjanus campechanus (Poey, 1860), Campeche, Mexico.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Red snapper; French: Vivaneau campиche; Spanish: Pargo de golfo.
Typically bass-like in appearance, with a deep body, a single dorsal and anal fin, and an emarginate caudal fin. There are 10 spines and 14 soft rays in the dorsal fin, 3 spines and 8–9 soft rays in the anal fin, and the pectoral fin is elongate, almost reaching the anus, with 17 rays. The eyes are relatively small. Body color is red with orangish red fins. Grows to about 39 in (100 cm) in total length.
Western Atlantic, from Massachusetts (rarely) south through the Carolinas to Florida, west through the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula and southeast to the northern edge of Cuba.
Juveniles frequent inshore waters, usually over sand or mud bottoms. Adults prefer rocky bottoms. Depth range of adults is 33–623 ft (10–190 m).
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Accomplished predator that feeds upon smaller fishes, crabs, shrimps, cephalopods, polychaete worms, and gastropods and urochordates in the water column.
Swims alone or in aggregations just above the bottom. May be idle during daylight and active at night.
Dioecious; there is no sex change. Males and females migrate to specific locations to form spawning aggregations between the months of April and December. Spawning is pelagic, as are the eggs and larvae. Eggs hatch in about a day.
Not listed by the IUCN but has been shown to be vulnerable to overfishing as a primary target species and, for juveniles, as bycatch in shrimp trawls. Fisheries are regulated in U. S. waters.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Important commercial and recreational species.
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