Chequered snapperLJD

Lutjanus decussatus
22.3 cm TL

Characteristic features:

  • longitudinal scale rows above lateral line obliquely positioned
  • Vomerine tooth patch lacking posterior extension
  • Preopercular notch indistinct


Pale with dark brownish bars and stripes; a large black spot on caudal-fin base.


Up to 30 cm TL.


East Indian and West Pacific in tropical waters.


Coral reefs, from 5 to at least 35 m depth.


Feeds on small fishes and crustaceans. Chequered snapper are usually solitary but occasionally form schools. Size and age of maturity is estimated at 18.5 cm and 4 years respectively (DeGraaf, 1977 in Martinez-Andrade, 2003)1. In waters off Okinawa, lunar-synchronised spawning has been observed to occur between June and October, within the last quarter moon of each month2. Maximum age estimates is 16 years1.


Caught mainly with handlines, traps, and gill nets.

Similar species:

A distinct species due to its unique chequerboard colouration. Not likely to be confused with other Lutjanus species.

External links:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM


  1. 1.
    Martinez-Andrade F. A comparison of life histories and ecological aspects among snappers (Pisces: Lutjanidae). 2003.
  2. 2.
    Nanami A, Okuzawa K, Yamada H, Suzuki N, Aonuma Y. Reproductive activity in the checkered snapper, Lutjanus decussatus, off Ishigaki Island, Okinawa. Ichthyological research. 2010;57(3):314–8.