Snapper: Indo-Pacific

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Most Indo-Pacific snappers have a range which includes SE Asia, and usually extends west to the Red Sea and E. Africa. In many instances the range includes N. Australia, and parts of Oceania.

  • L. argentimaculatus, red snapper (or mangrove jack): tropical Indo-Pacific; to 90 cm (31"); grey to pink above, shading to pink below, sometimes with a silvery spot on each scale (hence alternative names, silver or silver-spotted snapper), the body turning darker red after death.

  • L. gibbus, humpback red snapper: tropical Indo-Pacific; to 50 cm (22"); basic colour red or grey. Known in Australia as the paddle-tail because of the distinctively curved upper part of the tail fin.

  • L. johnii, John’s snapper: tropical Indo-Pacific; to 70 cm (28"); yellowish with a bronze sheen and a black spot on and above the lateral line.

  • L. kasmira, common bluestripe snapper: tropical Indo-Pacific; to 35 cm (14"); yellow with four bright blue stripes along the sides.

  • L. malabaricus, Malabar blood snapper: tropical Indo-Pacific, but not E. Africa; red or orange-red. Of excellent quality. One of the main commercial species in the Persian Gulf. Hamrah in Kuwait, scarlet sea perch in Australia.

  • L. guttatus, spotted rose snapper: E. Pacific from Mexico to Peru; to 50 cm (21"); pink above, pale below, a black spot above the lateral line.

  • L. quinquelineatus, five-lined snapper: to 38 cm (15"); a good eating fish, common in the markets.

  • L. rivulatus, blubberlip snapper: to 65 cm (26"); tropical Indo-Pacific.

  • L. sanguineus, humphead snapper: to 85 cm (34"); E. Africa to W. coast of India.

  • L. sebae, emperor red snapper, also red emperor (Australia) and bourgeois (Seychelles): to 1 m (40").

  • L. vitta, brownstripe snapper: to 40 cm (16"); has a brown or blackish stripe running along the side; common in the markets.