The northern red snapper also knew as Lutjanus campechianus belongs to a species of snapper local toward the western Atlantic Sea together with the Gulf of Mexico, where it inhabits surroundings related with reefs. Furthermore, this species is industrially imperative and is additionally sought-after as a game fish.

The name red snapper has been foisted off on pretty much any fish that is red in color. They have metallic pink skin. Snapper is taken with long lines and in some cases by snares and trawls.

The northern Lutjanus campechianus is a mainstream amusement fish and is exceptionally prized table admission. Eight million pounds of this red snapper are gotten in American waters every year.

Lutjanus campechianus

Most business fishing is finished with hydraulic and electric reels with somewhere in the range of 2 to 40 fishhooks on every single line. Squid and ladyfish are the two best baits for catching the red snapper. Furthermore, they are additionally gotten with hand lines, base longlines, and base trawls.


NameRed snapper, sow snapper,
Scientific NameLutjanus campechianus
SynonymsGulf red snapper, American red snapper

Vernacular names of Lutjanus campechianus 

  • English: Carribbean red snapper, Bream, mutton snapper, Mexican red snapper
  • French: Pagre fine, Vivanot jolle-bleu, Sarde rouge
  • Portuguese: Luciano-do-Golfo, Vermelho
  • Russian: луциан красный
  • Spanish: Acara aya, Pargo real, Chillo
  • Swedish: Red snapper
  • Dutch: Roodvis
  • Papiamento: Cora, boca negra


The history of red snapper is given below:

Origin of Lutjanus campechanus 

Red snapper originated from the Gulf of Mexico

Fossil record

The very first bony fish fossils happen in late Silurian. Furthermore, fossils were plentiful from the early Devonian and their real radiation was in progress by mid-Devonian.

Besides this, in the mid-Devonian, the two noteworthy heredities separated: One is the ray-finned fish known as Actinopterygii and the other one includes lobe-finned fish called Sarcopterygii.

Distinctive Features of Lutjanus campechianus 

The red snapper’s body is fundamentally the same in shape and size to other different snappers, for example, the mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, dog snapper, and lane snapper. All component an inclined profile, medium-to-vast scales, a prickly dorsal fin, and an along the side compacted body.

The northern red snapper has sharp, short, needle-like teeth, yet they do not have the conspicuous upper canine teeth found on the mangrove, dog and mutton snappers. Besides that, this snapper achieves development at a length of around 15 inches.

The regular grown-up length is 24 in (60 cm), yet may achieve 39 in (100 cm). The greatest distributed weight is 84 lb. (38 kg), and the eldest revealed age is more than 100 years. Shading of the northern red snapper is light red color, with more exceptional color on the back.

It has 14 delicate dorsal beams, 10 dorsal spines, eight to 9 butt-centric delicate beams and three butt-centric spines. Adolescent fish, which is shorter than 30– 35 cm can likewise have black spots on their sides, underneath the front delicate dorsal beams, which blurs with age.


Though most teeth in the upper jaw of red snapper are thickly stuffed, fine, or hair like “villiform” teeth. Besides this, there are a few canine teeth present also and the last comprising a conclusive characteristic of all the red snappers. Moreover, the lower jaw, which projects a little away from the upper, has bigger villiform teeth.


The northern fish, red snapper is found mainly in the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern Atlantic shoreline of the United States and substantially less ordinarily northward to the extent of Massachusetts. Besides this, in Latin American Spanish, it is known as Pargo, huachinango, or chillo.

This species usually lives in waters from 30– 200 ft. (9– 60 m), however, can be seen as deep in water as 300 ft. (90 m) so often. They remain generally near the base and occupy rough bottoms, edges, ledges, and fake reefs, including seaward shipwrecks and oil rigs.

Like most different snappers, northern red snapper is sociable and shape great schools around reefs and wrecks. These schools are typically comprised of fish of fundamentally the same in size.

The favored natural surroundings of this species change as it matures and grows because of an expanded requirement for changing and cover food propensities. Recently hatched red snapper spread out over vast zones of open benthic living space, at that point move to low-relief natural surroundings, for example, clam beds.

As they reach to one year of their age, they move to middle-relief living spaces as the earlier year’s fish proceed onward to high-relief reefs with space for more people.

Around fake reefs, for example, oil stages, littler fish invest time and energy in the upper part of the water segment while more developed and mature grown-ups live in more deep regions. These bigger fish do not enable littler creatures to share this region. The biggest red snapper spread out over open living spaces and in addition reefs.


Red snapper populace is growing too. Though truly the majority of the populace was found in the Western Gulf. Besides this, now the fishermen on the west shore of Florida are gathering increasingly red snapper.

Morphology of Lutjanus campechianus 

  • Total dorsal spines: ten;
  • Anal spines: three;
  • Total dorsal soft rays: fourteen;
  • Anal soft rays: eight to nine


Adolescents normally live in shallow waters over mud or sand bottoms. Grown-ups are mainly found over rough bottoms.

Depth range

Depth range built on 187 samples in 1 taxon.
Chemistry and Water temperature ranges based on 103 examples.

Environmental ranges:

  • Temperature range (°C): 18.854 – 26.729
  • Depth range (m): 0 – 183
  • Nitrate (umol/L): 0.325 – 5.738
  • Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 – 3.715
  • Salinity (PPS): 35.580 – 36.484
  • Phosphate (umol/l): 0.025 – 0.521
  • Oxygen (ml/l): 3.777 – 4.855


The grown-up northern Lutjanus campechianus lives off the coast on the mainland shelf, above profound reefs, rough bottoms, and banks. Populaces living among such three-dimensional structures are generally bigger than those in smooth base territories.

Grown-ups of this species are found at profundities of 10 to 190m (33-620 feet) with an elder, bigger fish having a tendency to favor the cooler, more profound spots.

The youthful live over sloppy and sandy bottoms that give a rich sustenance supply of shellfish for the seeking adolescent fish. As the adolescents develop, they look for cover as edges, wrecks, and rough outcroppings. Amid winter red snapper move off the coast to stay away from the cooler, shallow inshore waters.

Food Habits

Both adolescent and grown-up northern red snapper are predatory, and grown-ups are base situated predators. Adolescents normally feed on zooplankton. On the other hand, as they develop, their eating regimen changes over to bigger prey including squid, octopus, and shrimp.

Grown-up northern red snapper feed on an assortment of little fishes, mollusks and scavengers, which they find in level base zones nearby the reefs.

Reproduction of Lutjanus campechanus

Northern red snappers move to various sorts of environments amid their development procedure. When they are freshly spawned, red snapper become peaceful over huge zones of an open benthic environment. Below the age of 1, a Lutjanus campechianus move to low-relief environments for cover and nourishment.

If accessible, clam shell beds are favored. The second stage is the point at which these fish exceed low-relief living spaces and move to intermediate-relief natural surroundings as age one (1) red snapper leave to proceed onward to another development stage.

Next, at about age of 2, red snapper look for high-relief reefs having low densities of bigger snapper.

Next, at stages, littler red snapper inhabit the upper water section. At that point, the bigger, more established snapper possess the more profound territories of the stages and huge benthic reefs and they prevent littler snapper and other fish from utilizing these living spaces.

Despite nearby natural surroundings inclinations, Szedlmayer announced that of 146 L. campechanus labeled, discharged and re-trapped within about a year.

Besides this, 57% were still around at their individual discharge site, and therefore, 76% were recaptured inside 2 km of their discharge site. The best movement by a solitary fish was 32 kilometers.

Moreover, a northern Lutjanus campechianus reaches sexual development at two to five years of their age, and a grown-up snapper can live for over 50 years.

Furthermore, a research from 1999– 2001 recommended the populaces of red snapper off the shore of Texas achieve development quicker and at a littler size than populaces off of the Alabama and Louisiana coasts.

The lifecycle of  Lutjanus campechianus

The lifecycle stages of red snapper are given below:


Grown-up red snapper normally generates their eggs in zones of exceedingly beneficial waters, adjoining Harbor and estuaries. The Hauraki Gulf which is a huge embayment is an imperative zone for red snapper to spawn.


Red Snapper eggs hatch into hatchlings and after that change through various stages that see them develop from around 2 millimeters to 12 millimeters over a time of up to 28 days.

Early parts of this stage are conceivably secretive and imperceptibly.

Red Snapper: Settlement adolescent

Coastal juvenile

From late spring to autumn season, adolescents begin to show up in seaside environments, at around 60 mm long.


Besides that, most red snappers develop somewhere in the range of 3 and 5 years old or around 230 mm long. Grown-up red snapper can develop to 1 m long which weigh more than 15 kg and live to more than 60 years in age.


The northern Lutjanus campechianus achieves a normal length of 60cm (24 inches), with a most extreme length of 100cm (39 inches) and may weigh more than 20 pounds. Besides this, the Sexual maturity is touched at 2 years of their age, at which time northern red snapper are normally 30-40cm (12-16 inches) long.

Greatest age is assessed at 40-50 years. Furthermore, this red snapper develops around 4 inches every year for the initial 6 years pursued by a large declining development rate from there afterward.


Max lifespan of Lutjanus campechianus is 57 years.


Health benefits of Red snapper

There are many advantages to eating red snapper, including its capacity to help in weight control and lower your danger of heart disease, among others.

  • Prevents coronary illness on account of the omega-3 unsaturated fats
  • Aids in weight control, because of high protein thickness
  • Lowers the danger of megaloblastic weakness
  • Lowers your danger of chronic sickness and cancer.
red fish
  • Antioxidant action can lead to bringing down the danger of oxidative pressure
  • Supports thyroid wellbeing.
  • Red snapper avoids osteoporosis
  • Decreases the odds of macular degeneration and the advancement of cataracts
  • Increases the number of white platelets delivered by the body
  • Strengthens bone mineral thickness.
  • Stimulates intellectual capacity and lifts the wellbeing of the sensory system
  • Lowers pulse and hazard for atherosclerosis, coronary illness, and strokes

Similar Species

Known hazards

There have been reports of ciguatera harming from a human utilization of yellowtail snappers though such occurrences are viewed as uncommon for this species. Furthermore, ciguatera poisoning is triggered by microalgae found on macroalgae or dead corals.

By nourishing on these macroalgae and corals, herbivorous fishes amass a poison created by these dinoflagellates. To a great extent a wonder of tropical marine conditions, ciguitoxin collects still further in snappers and other expansive savage reef types that feed on these herbivorous fishes.

red snapper

Whenever amassed levels of the poison are sufficiently abundant they can cause harm in people who consume the substance of these fishes. Harmed individuals report having gastrointestinal issues for up to a few days, and a general shortcoming in their legs and arms. It is extremely uncommon to be distressed with ciguatera poisoning.

Predators of grown-up northern Lutjanus campechianus incorporate sharks and other expansive piscivorous fishes. Adolescent red snapper is prey for an extensive assortment of sea creatures.


Parasitic bloodsuckers have been discovered connected to the gills of the northern red snapper.

Fun Facts

There are many fun facts of red snapper, some are mentioned below:

red snapper facts

Although, these fun facts are quite interesting yet there are some dangers as well.



Aymen Nizam

Aymen Nizam

I am IT (Graduate) from Bahria University Islamabad currently writing blogs on animals and plants, I am a content writer by profession and passionate about writing all information about living things. TapeDaily has provided me a chance to share my expertise with you.

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