Paddletail snapperLJV

Lutjanus gibbus
31.8 cm TL

Characteristic features:

  • Vomerine tooth patch lacking posterior extension
  • Caudal fin forked with distinctly rounded lobes
  • Preopercular notch well developed


Reddish to greyish. Juveniles with blackish caudal peduncle and dark caudal fin with yellow outer margin


Up to 50 cm TL.


Indo-West Pacific in tropical waters.


Coral reefs, from 1 to at least 150 m depth.


Feeds primarily on fishes, but also crustaceans, cephalopods and echinoderms. Juveniles occur in seagrass beds and sheltered shallow reefs. Subadults often form large schools which are mostly inactive during the day. Adults occur at greater depths along coastal slopes, sometimes forming large aggregations.1 Based on unsexed specimens, this species matures between a size range of 24.4 and 25.9 cm TL and at an age range of 2–4 years.2 In waters of Japan spawning has been observed to occur from May to October.3 Male Paddletail snapper grow to a larger size than females.3 A preliminary study of Paddletail snapper in Indonesian waters found this species is faster growing and has a shorter lifespan (maximum recorded age of 9 years) when compared to populations elsewhere.4 In the waters of Japan, estimated maximum ages are 21 and 24 years for females and males, respectively.3


Caught mainly with handlines, traps and gill nets.

Similar species:

A distinct species easily recognisable by its forked caudal fin with rounded lobes. Not likely to be confused with other species.

External links:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM


  1. 1.
    Kuiter RH, Tonozuka T. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Zoonetics; 2001.
  2. 2.
    Martinez-Andrade F. A comparison of life histories and ecological aspects among snappers (Pisces: Lutjanidae) [Internet]. 2003. Available from:
  3. 3.
    Nanami A, Kurihara T, Kurita Y, Aonuma Y, Suzuki N, Yamada H. Age, growth and reproduction of the humpback red snapper Lutjanus gibbus off Ishigaki Island, Okinawa. Ichthyological research [Internet]. 2010;57(3):240–4. Available from:
  4. 4.
    Holloway CJ, Bucher DJ, Kearney L. A preliminary study of the age and growth of paddletail snapper Lutjanus gibbus (Forsskål 1775) in Bunaken Marine Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Asian Fisheries Science [Internet]. 2015;28:186–97. Available from:,%20North%20Sulawesi,%20Indonesia.pdf