Bigeye snapperLJL

Lutjanus lutjanus
18.1 cm TL

Characteristic features:

  • Suborbital space (between upper jaw and eye) very narrow
  • Snout profile angular
  • preopercular notch and knob poorly developed
  • Vomerine tooth patch triangular, with a medial posterior extension
  • Body relatively slender


Body with a series of yellow stripes below lateral line and a series of yellow oblique lines above lateral line, fins pale yellow.


Up to 30 cm TL.


Indo-West Pacific in tropical waters.


Coral reefs, from 10 to at least 90 m depth.


Feeds primarily on fishes and crustaceans. Usually found in large schools of more than 100 individuals, and also schools with other Lutjanus species. Bigeye snapper are a small, short lived, early maturing species. Mean length at maturity is 15.5 cm TL and mean age at maturity is 1.1 years. Bigeye snapper are among the shortest lived of all snappers, mean maximum age is estimated at 5.6 years.1


Caught mainly with handlines and with bottom trawls in some areas.

Similar species:

Lutjanus ehrenbergii
Ehrenberg’s snapper
Lutjanus ehrenbergii
Lutjanus ehrenbergii differs in having longitudinal scale rows above lateral line mostly horizontal (vs. obliquely positioned); 5 narrow yellow stripes below lateral line (vs. yellow or yellow-brown stripes above and below lateral line, one at eye level twice as wide as others) and a round black spot below middle of dorsal-fin soft rays (vs. no black spot).
Lutjanus fulviflamma
Blackspot snapper
Lutjanus fulviflamma
Lutjanus fulviflamma differs in the body being pale brown with 6 or 7 yellow stripes on sides (vs. body silvery, with yellow or yellow brown stripes, one at eye level twice as wide as others, and an oval black spot below dorsal-fin soft rays (vs. no back spot).
Lutjanus mizenkoi
Mizenko’s snapper

FAO (CC BY-NC 3.0)
Lutjanus mizenkoi differs in having a scaleless preopercular flange (vs. scaled).
Lutjanus rufolineatus
Golden-lined snapper
Lutjanus rufolineatus
Lutjanus rufolineatus differs in having a vomerine tooth patch without medial extension (vs. with medial posterior extension); preopercular notch well developed (vs. poorly developed); brown dorsally on axil of pectoral fin (vs. no demarcation) and black spot sometimes present below dorsal-fin soft rays (vs. no black spot)
Lutjanus vitta
Brownstripe snapper
Lutjanus vitta
Lutjanus vitta differs in having a space between eye and mouth about equal to eye diameter (vs. narrower than eye diameter) and numerous thin brown stripes, frequently with a broad dark brown mid-lateral stripe from eye to caudal-fin base (vs. thin yellow stripes, with a broader yellow mid-lateral stripe).
Lutjanus xanthopinnis
Yellowfin snapper
Lutjanus xanthopinnis
Lutjanus xanthopinnis differs in having a scaleless preopercular flange (vs. scaled)

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) [Internet]. 2003. Available from: