- Mouth large, maxilla length subequal to distance between last dorsal- and anal-fin rays
- Head profile strongly humped
- Caudal fin truncate
Adults overall pinkish red. Juveniles with broad oblique brown black stripe from upper jaw, passing through eye to dorsal-fin origin, and black band across caudal peduncle sometimes edged with white (saddle-like in larger juveniles); reddish horizontal lines along body sometimes present.
Up to 100 cm TL.
Indo-West Pacific in tropical waters.
Coastal and offshore coral reefs and rocky reefs, from 10 to at least 100 m depth. Juveniles inhabit shallow inshore waters while adults are usually found further offshore in deeper waters.
Feeds primarily on fishes, but also on benthic crustaceans, cephalopods and other benthic invertebrates. Forms mixed shoals with other snapper species. Malabar snapper are a large, slow growing species. Beyond 9 years of age, males have been observed to grow larger than females of the same age.1 Mean maturity estimates for this species are 3.5 years corresponding to 42.0 cm TL.2 In the Great Barrier Reef, females reach a length where 50% of ovaries are mature at 57.6 cm FL, and reach first maturity at 54.0 cm FL.3 Malabar snapper have a low reproductive potential. In the Great Barrier Reef Malabar snapper spawn for approximately 5 months, peaking in November to January.3 Malabar snapper are a long lived species, in Australian waters maximum age is estimated to be at least 31 years.1
Caught mainly with handlines, bottom longlines, and bottom trawls.
- 1.Newman S. Growth rate, age determination, natural mortality and production potential of the scarlet seaperch, Lutjanus malabaricus Schneider 1801, off the Pilbara coast of north-western Australia. Fisheries Research. 2002;58(2):215–25.
- 2.Martinez-Andrade F. A comparison of life histories and ecological aspects among snappers (Pisces: Lutjanidae). 2003;
- 3.McPherson G, Squire L, O’Brien J. Reproduction of three dominant Lutjanus species of the Great Barrier Reef inter-reef fishery. Asian Fish Sci. 1992;5(1):15–24.