Flame snapperETC

Etelis coruscans
30.1 cm TL

Characteristic features:

  • Dorsal fin deeply incised between spinous and soft portions
  • Maxilla with scales, maxilla extending to below mid-eye
  • 11 dorsal-fin soft rays
  • First gill arch with 23–28 gill rakers
  • Caudal fin deeply forked
  • Outer margin of operculum rounded

Note: Two morphs are present in this species – a long-tailed form and a short-tailed form. Both have been caught in waters around Fiji,
long-tailed forms found on seamounts and more commonly on island slopes, while short-tailed forms are usually restricted to seamounts only.1


Deep pink to reddish.


Up to 120 cm TL.


Indo-West and Central Pacific in tropical and subtropical waters.


Rocky bottoms, from 90 to at least 400 m depth.


Feeds primarily on small fishes, squid and crustaceans, and also planktonic organisms. Flame snapper are a slow growing, late maturing species. In waters off Hawaii females reached first maturity at 52.2 cm FL, length at which 50% of females reach maturity was 67.5–72.5 cm FL. In Tongan waters, age at maturity for both sexes combined was 4.1 years.2 In waters off Hawaii, spawning began in spring and summer (June/July) with multiple spawning events continuing until autumn or early winter, peaking in October.3 Estimated maximum age is 18 years.4


Caught mainly with deep handlines.

Similar species:

Etelis carbunculus
Pacific ruby snapper
Etelis cf. carbunculus
Etelis carbunculus differs in having an outer margin of operculum pointed (vs. rounded); a caudal fin shallowly forked (vs. deeply forked) and first gill arch with 17–22 gill rakers (vs. 23–28).
Etelis radiosus
Pale snapper
Etelis radiosus
FAO. License: CC BY-NC 3.0
Etelis radiosus differs in having an outer margin of operculum rounded (vs. pointed); a caudal fin lunate with notch in the center of trailing edge (vs. deeply forked); maxilla extending to level with posterior eye margin (vs. level with middle of eye) and first gill arch with 32–36 gill rakers (vs. 23–28).
Pristipomoides spp.
Pristipomoides typus
Pristipomoides typus
Pristipomoides species differ in having junction between spinous and soft portion of dorsal fin indistinct (vs. junction deeply incised); dorsal fin with 10 spines and 10 soft rays (vs. 10 spines and 11, very infrequently 10, soft rays) and maxilla without scales (vs. with).

External links:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM


  1. 1.
    Anderson WD, Allen GR. Lutjanidae. Jobfishes. Food and Agricultural Organization, Rome.; 2001.
  2. 2.
    Langi V, Langi S. A stock assessment programme on the bottom fishes of the seamounts, Kingdom of Tonga: the first 9 months. Fishbyte. 1987;5(3):6–11.
  3. 3.
    Everson AR, Williams H, Ito B. Maturation and reproduction in two Hawaiian eteline snappers, uku, Aprion virescens, and onaga, Etelis coruscans. Fishery Bulletin [Internet]. 1989;87(4):877–88. Available from: https://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/pdf-content/1989/874/everson.pdf
  4. 4.
    Williams A, Loeun K, Nicol S, Chavance P, Ducrocq M, Harley S, et al. Population biology and vulnerability to fishing of deep‐water Eteline snappers. Journal of Applied Ichthyology [Internet]. 2013;29(2):395–403. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/jai.12123