Midnight snapper – – –

 
Macolor macularis
36.7 cm TL

Characteristic features:

  • First gill arch with 37–42 gill rakers on upper limb and 71–81 gill rakers on lower limb (total 110–122)
  • Pelvic fins long and pointed in juveniles, but short and rounded in adults
  • Anal fin with 3 spines and usually 10 (occasionally 11) soft rays
  • Yellow hues on ventral head and belly

Colour:

Adults are dark grey-brown dorsally grading to yellow on the head and ventrally, bluish lines and spots on head. Subadults and juveniles black with 6–10 white spots on upper side and white pattern below.

Size:

Up to 60 cm FL.

Distribution:

West Pacific in tropical waters.

Habitat:

Coral reef, from 5 to at least 50 m depth.

Biology:

Feeds primarily on large zooplankton at night. Midnight snapper occur singly or in small groups, sometimes aggregating with Macolor niger. In Papua New Guinea, females are thought to mature at 35 cm FL.1 Larvae are pelagic and have been found well offshore. Midnight snapper are suggested to have a long life span, reaching to 40–50 years on the Great Barrier Reef.2

Fisheries:

Caught with handlines, gill nets, and traps.

Similar species:

 
Macolor niger
Black and white snapper
Macolor niger differs in having 26–38 gill rakers on the upper limb of the first gill arch with (vs. 37–42); anal fin with 3 spines and usually 11, occasionally 10 soft rays (vs. 3 spines and usually 10, occasionally 11 soft rays) and pelvic fins short and rounded at all sizes (vs. very long and pointed in young, but short and rounded in adults).

External links:

FishBase
The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM

References:

  1. 1.
    Longenecker K, Langston R, Bolick H, Kondio U, Mulrooney M. Six-year baseline information: size structure and reproduction of exploited reef fishes before establishing a management plan at Kamiali Wildlife Management Area, Papua New Guinea [Internet]. Bishop Museum Technical Report; 2014. Available from: https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.1139.6089
  2. 2.
    Hay AC, Leis JM. The pelagic larva of the Midnight Snapper, Macolor macularis (Teleostei: Lutjanidae). Records of the Australian Museum. 2011;63(1):85–8.