Fun Mangrove Red Snapper Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Mangrove Red Snapper Facts For Kids

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Lutjanus argentimaculatus, or the Mangrove red snapper, is a species of marine snapper fish belonging to the class of ray-finned fishes. It is a member of the snapper family Lutjanidae. Known by a number of other names such as river snapper, mangrove jack, red perch, red reef bream, purple sea perch, red bream, gray snapper, Stuart evader, creek red bream, dog bream, rock barramundi, and river roman, the Mangrove red snapper is endemic to the Indo-Pacific range with distribution reported in the eastern Mediterranean Sea only recently.

The Mangrove jack or river snapper is primarily a marine fish but can also be found in freshwater areas. As evident from the name, the Mangrove red snapper is common in mangrove estuaries. Young adults and juveniles are also found in the lower areas of freshwater systems and eventually migrate to deeper, offshore reef areas for spawning. Often confused with the red bass fish, the Mangrove red snapper has a characteristic copper, burnt orange, or reddish-brown hue to its body, which earns it names like the creek red bream, red perch, red reef bream, and so on. The creek red bream is one of the most delicious food fish species with firm, white flesh. It is widely popular as a commercial fish in fisheries throughout its range. Moreover, the creek red bream is a prime choice for recreational and sports fishing as well.

The Mangrove Jack is indeed an interesting fish species. Read on to know more about them!

You may also check out facts about other snapper fish species such as the mutton snapper and Mangrove Snapper.

Fun Mangrove Red Snapper Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Crustaceans, gastropods, fish, cephalopod mollusks

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

Up to 19.2 lb (8.7 kg)

How long are they?

Up to 5 ft (152.4 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Reddish-brown, greenish-brown, silver

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Coral Reefs, Tidal Creeks, Mangrove Estuaries, Offshore Reefs


The Indian Ocean And The Western Pacific Ocean









Mangrove Red Snapper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Mangrove red snapper?

The Mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus), Mangrove Jack, or river snapper is a species of snapper fish of the family Lutjanidae.

What class of animal does a Mangrove red snapper belong to?

The Mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) belongs to the class Actinopterygii that includes all ray-finned fishes.

How many Mangrove red snappers are there in the world?

The total population size of the Mangrove red snappers is not quantified yet.

Where does a Mangrove red snapper live?

The native habitat range of the Mangrove-red snapper  (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) is restricted to the  Indo-west Pacific region. Their natural distribution stretches from the Line Islands and Samoa to the east African coast and from the Japanese Ryuku Islands in the north to Australia in the south. The Mangrove jack population has also spread to the eastern Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Lebanon, but its distribution there is not well established.

What is a Mangrove red snapper's habitat?

The Mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) is a predominantly marine fish species found in Mangrove-lined estuaries. Juveniles are also found in tidal creeks and in the lower reaches of streams. The fish migrates to offshore reef areas to spawn. Adults are common amongst coral reefs.

The habitat of this snapper fish species is abundant in sheltered structures such as overhanging ledges and caves. Being ambush predators, Mangrove red snappers inhabit areas around mangrove roots, rock walls, fallen trees, or similar regions where smaller prey such as crustaceans, fish, and mollusks take refuge. This fish species can reach depths of more than 328 ft (100 m).

Who do Mangrove red snapper live with?

Adult members of the Mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) species have been found in groups near coral reefs.

How long does a Mangrove red snapper live?

The maximum reported age of the Mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) is 31 years.

How do they reproduce?

Mangrove red snappers move far away from the coast into the open waters to breed and spawn in offshore reefs. The fish lays eggs in the water, which are then fertilized externally. These snappers are iteroparous, which means that they breed several times a year.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species classifies the Mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) as a species of Least Concern. Even though they fall victim to fishing, there is no immediate risk to their population.

Mangrove Red Snapper Fun Facts

What do Mangrove red snapper look like?

The Mangrove red snapper has powerful canine teeth for holding prey.

The Mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) has a silvery to whitish belly with reddish-brown or greenish-brown sides and back. Fish from deeper waters are often reddish overall. Juveniles are usually darker, with a series of light vertical bands on the sides and one or two blue lines across the cheek. The snout is somewhat pointed with powerful canines in the jaws. The scale rows on the back are almost parallel to the lateral line. The dorsal fin has 10 spines and 13-14 soft rays, the pectoral fins have 16-17 rays, and the anal spines are three in number with eight anal soft rays. The dorsal and anal fins have rounded ends, whereas the caudal fin is almost truncate.

How cute are they?

The Mangrove red snapper is not conventionally cute and looks quite plain, unlike parrotfish.

How do they communicate?

No specific information is available regarding the mode of communication of the Mangrove red snapper. However, like all other fishes, Mangrove red snappers should be able to communicate via the vibration of swim bladders.

How big is a Mangrove red snapper?

While the maximum length of the Mangrove red snapper can go up to about 5 ft (152.4 cm), the most common length is around 2.6 ft (79.2 cm). In terms of body length, the Mangrove red snapper is a little less than twice the size of a two-spot red snapper or the red bass (Lutjanus bohar).

How fast can a Mangrove red snapper swim?

The swimming speed of the Mangrove red snapper is not known.

How much does a Mangrove red snapper weigh?

The maximum reported weight of the Mangrove red snapper is 19.2 lb (8.7 kg). An average black sea bass weighs lesser than them.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female snappers do not have distinct names. They are referred to as male Mangrove red snapper and female Mangrove red snapper.

What would you call a baby Mangrove red snapper ?

A baby snapper fish is referred to as fry, like babies of all other fishes.

What do they eat?

The Mangrove red snapper takes a carnivorous diet, like wrasse. It is a nocturnal predator whose diet consists of crustaceans, gastropods, fish, and cephalopod mollusks.

Are they dangerous?

The Mangrove red snapper is common in commercial fisheries and is also popular among recreational fishing enthusiasts. Hence, they do not appear to be particularly dangerous to humans. Being carnivorous predators, the fish has prominent canines whose blow can be quite fatal, especially to its prey.

Would they make a good pet?

Unlike tetra fishes, The Mangrove red snapper would not really make a good pet or a good community tank addition due to its huge size and predatory nature. These carnivorous predators cannot co-exist peacefully with other large or small fish and may also fight members of their own species.

Did you know...

The first formal description of the Mangrove red snapper was given by the Finnish-born and Swedish-speaking naturalist and explorer  Peter Forsskål in 1775.

The specific name 'argentimaculatus' is the scientific name (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) of the Mangrove red snapper and it is a combination of two Latin terms argentum, meaning silver and maculatus, which means spots.

The Mangrove red snapper is a Lessepsian migrant, meaning that the fish migrated from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal.

Besides the flesh, the skin of the snapper makes for a delectable treat when cooked to a crispy texture.

To catch a Mangrove red snapper, fishermen use live bait or frozen bait. A large hook is needed as the fish is pretty large in size.

Even though the Mangrove red snapper is often confused with the two-spot red snapper or the red bass (Lutjanus bohar), the difference between the two species becomes evident from their detailed physical description. For instance, the red bass is relatively smaller than the Mangrove red snapper and is generally darker in coloration. Moreover, the red bass has a deep groove running from the nostrils to the eyes, scale rows on the back rising obliquely from the lateral line, and fewer spines on the dorsal fin. Besides, the red bass is a carrier of the toxin called ciguatera which causes severe foodborne illness.

Can you keep Mangrove snapper?

The predatory nature and massive size of the Mangrove red snapper make it a poor choice for an aquarium or tank pet. The fish can reach a length of almost 5 ft (152.4 cm) and is too large for any home aquarium. However, it may be suitable for larger public aquariums with a minimum size of 1,000 gals (3,785.4 l).

What is the biggest red snapper ever caught?

A 28-year old fisherman Joey Beaver achieved a remarkable fishing feat by catching the biggest and heaviest ever red snapper from the Gulf of Mexico on June 1, 2014. The fish was 40 in (101.6 cm) long and weighed 38.7 lb (17.5 kg). Texas-based Beaver reported that he caught the massive fish about 5 mi (8 km) off the shore near Port O' Connor between Galveston and Corpus Christi.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these vendace fish facts and stingray facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Mangrove red Snapper coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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