Smallscale snapper – – –

Paracaesio sordida
23.2 cm FL

Characteristic features:

  • Dorsal and anal fins without scales basally
  • Caudal fin larger and deeply forked
  • Maxilla without scales
  • Preopercle with 1–3 rows of scales
  • 69–72 lateral-line scales


Overall dark purplish brown or greyish pink.


Up to 35 cm TL.


West Pacific in tropical waters.


Associated with rocky reefs, from 30 to at least 200 m depth.


Feeds on planktonic organisms. Found in small schools. No information on age or length at maturity is available, however one Smallscale snapper caught off Papua New Guinea with a length of 23.0 cm SL and weight of 0.34 kg was estimated at 4 years old.1 No information on spawning is available and estimated maximum age is unknown.


Caught mainly with handlines.

Similar species:

Paracaesio brevidentata
Smallmouth snapper
Paracaesio brevidentata
Paracaesio brevidentata differ in having a scaly maxilla (vs. scaleless); a much smaller mouth with minute villiform teeth (vs. larger mouth with small teeth) and a smaller caudal fin (vs. larger).
Paracaesio sordida are difficult to distinguish from Caesionidae.

External links:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM


  1. 1.
    Fry G, Brewer D, Venables W. Vulnerability of deepwater demersal fishes to commercial fishing: evidence from a study around a tropical volcanic seamount in Papua New Guinea. Fisheries Research [Internet]. 2006;81(2–3):126–41. Available from: