Mangrove snapper, grey snapper
about 18 inches
Fish and crustaceans
Family: Lutjanidae (snappers)
Also known as grey snappers.
Distinguishing features: Rows of red-orange spots along side; young fish have a black stripe angling up through their eye. Large canine teeth. Dark or red border on dorsal fin.
Range, habitat and behavior: Typically found from Florida to Brazil and across the Gulf of Mexico. They are marine fish as adults, but juvenile mangrove snappers migrate into estuaries and Florida’s rivers to grow and mature. Mangrove snappers will most likely be seen in springs near the coast, like Homosassa, Chassahowitzka, and Three Sisters (Crystal River/King’s Bay.)
Diet: Fish and crustaceans (crabs and shrimp).
Fun facts: Mangrove Snapper spawn in large aggregations offshore, broadcasting millions of eggs during full moons.