Fun Red Snapper Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
Oct 20, 2022 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
One of the interesting red snapper facts is that they live in marine habitats like reefs, and rocky ledges along the Gulf of Mexico, and the West Atlantic Ocean.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

There are more than a 100 species of snappers belonging to the family Lutjanidae. The northern red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) is most abundantly found in its natural range of the western Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Northern red snappers are extremely popular as game fish and are known for their good taste. The most striking feature of these marine fish is the typical snapper red coloration. Red snappers that inhabit deeper waters usually have a more intense red coloration than the ones living in the shallower waters.

In their habitat, red snappers are one of the top predators. This species of fish live on hard bottoms and rocky reefs throughout their range.

Humans often catch red snappers for food, but they are also preyed on by bigger carnivorous fish. Sharks, barracudas, morays, turtles, and other marine mammals eat red snappers.

Red snapper populations were declining heavily due to overfishing. Although not considered to be endangered, strict rules have been implemented on the total number and minimum size of red snapper fishing. Huge amounts of snappers are caught by commercial fishing trawlers and anglers every year.

If you would like to know more about marine animals, check out mutton snapper and northern kingfish facts.

Red Snapper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a red snapper?

Red snappers are marine fish with a rosy red color.

What class of animal does a red snapper belong to?

The red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) species belongs to the class Actinopterygii and are considered red finned fishes.

How many red snappers are there in the world?

A study suggests that 110 million red snappers live in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico alone.

Where does a red snapper live?

Red snappers are saltwater fish that live in oceans and seas.

They are generally found at varying depths starting from 30-620 ft (9.1-188.9 m) in the Gulf of Mexico, and the southeastern Atlantic coast of North America.

Red snappers are territorial fish and remain within their range. The adults do not move much. Among popular off-shore fishes, red snappers are a prized catch.

Most recreational anglers catch red snappers along the Gulf coast, along with Texas. This fish species is also caught from reefs and rigs.

In Latin American Spanish, snappers are called chillo, huachinango, and pargo.

What is a red snapper's habitat?

These species of red finned fish are found at various depths of the water column. They are usually caught in fishing at depths from 30-100 ft (9.1-30.4 m), more during the cooler months than the warm summer months.

The small and medium sized red snappers prefer bottom relief or substrate like reefs, rocks, shipwrecks, and offshore oil rigs as they grow to more than 10 lb (4.5 kg). These fishes move to deeper waters and frequent the open sea bottom with fewer obstructions.

As red snappers grow, their habitats change with the altering eating habits. Newly hatched red snappers live in open benthic habitats and gradually move to low relief habitats parallel to oyster beds.

Who do red snappers live with?

The northern red snapperspeciesare social like the other snapper species. They live in large schools or groups in reefs, marine wrecks, and oil platforms. The adult fish population lives in deeper waters and the related juveniles are found in the upper parts of the water column.

How long does a red snapper live?

Red snappers have an average lifespan of up to more than 50 years. The oldest red snapper reported to date lived more than a 100 years and was found in the Gulf of Mexico.

How do they reproduce?

Red snapper reaches sexual maturity at the age of two. The spawning season stretches from April to September. Spawning happens along coral reefs and rocky ledges of the Gulf coast.

Smaller females produce lesser eggs than the more mature ones. Newly matured red snapper females may lay 30,000 eggs in a season. Older females may produce up to a whopping 75 million eggs every season.

Provided that a female red snapper lives its full life, it may produce as many as four billion eggs in its lifetime.

Red snapper females lay eggs and the males fertilize them externally. Spawning happens on the flat sandy seafloor. The eggs float and get carried away quickly by the currents. This helps them to get saved from the predators.

Red snapper fish grow relatively fast during their young age, and growth slows down once they are focused on reproduction.

What is their conservation status?

Overfishing of red snappers on the Gulf coast in the 1980s caused a severe decline in the population of this species. Conservation efforts and effective fishing management, related protective measures were taken. The red snapper population is stable now and is hoped to reach a sustainable level by 2023.

Anglers and fishing enthusiasts have to follow catch limits and the minimum size of the fish caught through fishing.

Red Snapper Fun Facts

What do red snappers look like?

Red snappers are pinkish red in color and have a laterally compressed deep body. They have small eyes, medium scales, and a spiny dorsal fin with ten dorsal spines.

Northern red snappers have sharp, needle like teeth.The upper canine teeth are missing inredsnappers.

Red Snapper

How cute are they?

Red snappers have an interesting look with a rosy red color. They are marine wildlife and cannot be called cute or cuddly.

How do they communicate?

Red snappers live in shoals but no science based research has been conducted to know how they communicate with each other.

How big is a red snapper?

Red snappers that grow up to 24 in (60.96 cm) in length are almost half the size of Atlantic Pomfret Brama brama that grows to around 40 in (101.6 cm) in length.

How fast can a red snapper swim?

The swimming speed of red snappers has not been recorded.

How much does a red snapper weigh?

The largest red snapper caught to date weighed 50 lb (22.6 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female red snapper have no special names.

What would you call a baby red snapper?

A young red snapper is called a fry. Before reaching maturity, the young fishes go through several developmental stages.

What do they eat?

Juvenile red snappers feed on zooplankton. With age, the fishes change their diet plan to a carnivorous feeding habit.

They then prey on shrimp, squid, small fish, and octopus. This species is one of the top predators among the wildlife in their habitat.

Some interesting red snapper fish facts would be that red snappers live in reefs and eat smaller creatures from their reef habitat. Their diet consists of fishes and wildlife living on the mud bottom like anchovies, mollusks, pipefish, a variety of eels, pinfish, pigfish, and crustaceans.

Juveniles mostly feed on zooplankton and some marine creatures.

Are they dangerous?

Red snappers are not dangerous in any way.

Some studies say eating snappers and some predatory fishes that feed on herbivorous marine wildlife may cause toxin buildup.

Would they make a good pet?

Red snappers can be kept in large marine aquariums of three hundred gallons or more with other similar species. They are non aggressive fish that can live in community tanks equipped with rock and hardy corals.

Did you know...

The red snapper species are among the most popular fish species in the Gulf of Mexico. This signature dish is a favorite among fishing enthusiasts and in seafood markets and restaurants.

Eating red snapper fish

Red snappers are tasty fish with a delicate nutty flavor. Red snapper meat is a lean supply protein. It is a source of Omega3 fatty acids and vitamin A. The mercury range of northern red snappers may make them unsuitable for consumption by pregnant women and young children.

Red snappers can be grilled, baked, pan seared, and broiled.

Naming the red snapper

Red snappers get their name from their rosy red color and red eyes.

Red snappers are a delicacy in South India and Sri Lanka. In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, this species is called ‘Vanjaram’ and is quite costly. In southern Kerala, this fish is called ‘Neymeen’, and in northern Kerala and coastal Karnataka ‘Aiykoora’.

This fish species is called acara aya in Spanish and pargre fine in French.

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 Kelp Bass facts and Sandperch facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Red Snapper coloring pages.

Red Snapper Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Adults feed on small fish, shrimp, crab, worms, octopus, and squid and juveniles feed on planktons.

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

Large females lay 75 million or more eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

10-20 lb (4.5-9 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

deep marine habitats

Where Do They Live?

north america, central america, and northern south america, western atlantic, caribbean sea, and gulf of mexico

How Long Were They?

12-24 in (30-61 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Lutjanus campechanus

What Do They Look Like?

Rosy red color, almond body shape, and red eyes

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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