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Dog Snapper: Lutjanus jocu

Appearance:

  • Color brown with a bronze tinge, lighter on sides
  • Canine teeth are very sharp and one pair is notably enlarged, visible even when the mouth is closed
  • In adults, a pale triangle and a light blue interrupted line are below the eye
  • No dark spot is found on the body underneath dorsal fin

Habitat:

Large adults are found offshore over coral and rocky reefs.  Juveniles are associated with estuaries.

Behavior:

Dog snapper spawn from spring through fall.  Known as night feeders, these snapper eat fishes, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Additional Information

State Record: This species is not currently eligible for a state record.

Similar Fish: schoolmaster, L. apodus (no white triangle under eye and fins are more yellow); other snappers.


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles



FWC Facts:
Saxitoxin, the compound that produces paralytic shellfish poisoning, was used in suicide pills for U.S. U-2 spy plane pilots in the Cold War in case of crash and potential capture.

Learn More at AskFWC