Mangrove red snapper
|Mangrove red snapper|
|A Mangrove Red Snapper from New Ireland, Papua New Guinea|
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Lutjanus argentimaculatus, the mangrove red snapper (commonly called mangrove jack( Also know as "Stuart Evader") within Australia), is a species of snapper native to the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean from the African coast to Samoa and the Line Islands and from the Ryukyus in the north to Australia in the south. It has also been recorded from the coast of Lebanon in the Mediterranean Sea having reached there from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal though it is not established in the Mediterranean.
Coloration of the mangrove red snapper ranges from burnt orange, to copper, to bronze and dark reddish-brown, depending on its age and environment. Younger fish caught in estuarine areas are often darker than older fish taken from offshore reef areas, and exhibit lighter vertical bands down their flanks.
As its name implies, the mangrove red snapper is commonly found in mangrove-lined estuarine systems, although is known to migrate to offshore reefs to spawn. As ambush predators, they often dwell around mangrove roots, fallen trees, rock walls, and any other snag areas where smaller prey reside for protection. For fishermen, the telltale sign of a hooked mangrove red snapper is the explosive run for cover once the bait (or lure) is taken. Many fish (and again, lures) are lost once they reach the protection of the snags as a result of their initial burst of speed. As they mature, mangrove red snappers move into open waters, sometimes hundreds of kilometers from the coast to breed. These larger fish are sometimes caught by bottom-fishers with heavy tackle, though they still remain difficult to land due to their speed and proximity to sharp reef bottoms.
The mangrove red snapper is a highly regarded table fish with firm, sweet-tasting, white flesh. While often a nuisance species when targeting the infamous barramundi, many fisherman rate the eating qualities of the jack higher than its more famous neighbour. In reef areas, mangrove red snappers are sometimes confused with red bass (Lutjanus bohar), a known carrier of ciguatera toxin. They are, however, easily distinguishable by the large deep pit in front of the eyes of the red bass.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Lutjanus argentimaculatus" in FishBase. December 2013 version.
- Queensland Government Fish Note
- Russell, D.J., et al., "Biology, Management and Genetic Stock Structure of Mangrove Jack (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) in Australia," The State of Queensland, Department of Primary Industries and the Fisheries Research Development Corporation, FRDC Project Number 1999/122, 2003.