Ocyurus chrysurus (Bloch, 1791)
Yellowtail snapper
Ocyurus chrysurus
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Lutjanidae (Snappers), subfamily: Lutjaninae
Max. size:  86.3 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 4,070.0 g; max. reported age: 14 years
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 180 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: extending northward to Massachusetts, USA and Bermuda and southward to southeastern Brazil, in Gulf of Mexico and Antilles (Anderson, pers. comm.). Most common in the Bahamas, off south Florida and throughout the Caribbean. Lutjanus ambiguus (Poey, 1860), an intergeneric hybrid with Lutjanus synagris (Linnaeus) as demonstrated by Loftus (1992: Ref. 33006), followed by McEachran &. Fechhelm (2005: Ref. 78464).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 10-10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-14; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-9. Head relatively small, lower jaw projecting slightly beyond the upper. Scale rows on back rising obliquely above lateral line. Back and upper sides blue to violet with scattered yellow spots. A prominent mid-lateral yellow band running from the snout to the caudal fin base. The lower sides and belly whitish with narrow reddish and yellow stripes; the dorsal and caudal fins yellow; the anal and pelvic fins whitish.
Biology:  Adults inhabit coastal waters, mostly around coral reefs. Usually seen well above the bottom, frequently in aggregations. They feed on a combination of plankton and benthic animals including fishes, crustaceans, worms, gastropods and cephalopods, mainly at night (Ref. 9987). Young individuals are usually found over weed beds. They feed primarily on plankton (Ref. 9710). Spawning occurs throughout the year, with peaks at different times in different areas (Ref. 26938). Marketed fresh and frozen (Ref. 9987). Has been reared in captivity (Ref. 35420).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 10 October 2015 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 27.03.13
Checked by: Torres, Armi G. - 16.02.94

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