Symphorus nematophorus
30.0 cm FL

Characteristic features:

  • Dorsal fins with 10 spines and 14–17 soft rays
  • Body moderately deep
  • No spot on caudal peduncle
  • Juveniles with one or more anterior dorsal-fin soft rays forming long filaments


Adults mainly reddish with paler vertical bars. Smaller individuals and juveniles yellowish-brown with bright blue horizontal stripes and faint dark bars on sides. Adults and juveniles without spot on caudal peduncle


Up to 80 cm TL.


West Pacific in tropical and subtropical waters.


Coral reefs, from the surface to at least 50 m depth.


Feeds predominately on fishes. Usually solitary, but has been observed to form large schools. Age and length of maturity is estimated to be 4.8 and 49.0 cm, respectively.1 Chinamanfish display a low mortality and longer lifespan2 with an estimated maximum age of 36 years.3


Caught mainly with handlines.

Similar species:

Symphorichthys spilurus
Sailfin snapper
Symphorichthys spilurus
Symphorichthys spilurus differs in having a very deep body (vs. moderately deep); a blunt head (vs. gently sloping); dorsal-fin soft rays forming long filaments in juveniles and adults (vs. juveniles only) and a black spot on caudal peduncle (vs. no black spot).

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.
    Heupel MR, Williams AJ, Welch DJ, Davies CR, Penny A, Kritzer JP, et al. Demographic characteristics of exploited tropical lutjanids: a comparative analysis. Fishery Bulletin. 2010;108:420–32.
  3. 3.
    Currey LM, Simpfendorfer CA, Williams AJ. Resilience of reef fish species on the Great Barrier Reef and in Torres Strait [Internet]. Project Milestone report to the Marine and Tropical Science Research Facility. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns (32 pp.). 2010. Available from: