Paddletail, Lutjanus gibbus (Forsskål 1775)

Other Names: Humpback Red Snapper, Humpback Redsnapper, Humpback Snapper, Humphead Snapper, Hunched Snapper, Paddle Tail Snapper, Paddle-tail, Paddle-tail Sea-perch, Paddle-tail Snapper, Red Snapper

A Paddletail, Lutjanus gibbus, at Taveuni, Fiji. Source: Paddy Ryan / License: All rights reserved

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Lutjanus gibbus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,

Paddletail, Lutjanus gibbus (Forsskål 1775)

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos to the Dampier Region and offshore reefs of north western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the outer Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Moreton Bay, Queensland, with juveniles south to Sydney, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific, from East Africa and the Red Sea, to French Polynesia and north to Japan.
Sub-adults often form large sedentary schools during the day, while juveniles prefer seagrass beds and mixed sand.coral habitats on sheltered reefs.


Carnivore - feeds on fishes, and a range of benthic invertebrates, including shrimps, crabs, lobsters, stomatopods, cephalopods, echinoderms and ophiuroids.


Individuals mature at an age of 2.5 years, and form spawning aggregations. 


The Paddletail is taken in recreational, commercial or artisinal fisheries in many parts of its range.

Species Citation

Sciaena gibba Forsskål 1775, Descriptiones Animalium: 46. Type locality: Arabia.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Paddletail, Lutjanus gibbus (Forsskål 1775)


Allan, R. 2002. Australian Fish and How to Catch Them. Sydney : New Holland Publishers (Australia) 394 pp. 

Allen, G.R. 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Snappers of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of lutjanid species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Vol. 6. Rome : FAO 208 pp. 

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.
Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Talbot, F.H. 1985. Review of the snappers of the genus Lutjanus (Pisces: Lutjanidae) from the Indo-Pacific, with the description of a new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 11: 1-87 

Anderson, W.D. & Allen, G.R. 2001. Lutjanidae. pp. 2840-2918 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp. 

Currey, L.M., Simpfendorfer, C.A. & Williams, A.J. 2010. Resilience of reef fish species on the Great Barrier Reef and in Torres Strait. Project Milestone Report to the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns, 32 pp.

Forsskål, P. 1775. Descriptiones Animalium Avium, Amphibiorum, Piscium, Insectorum, Vermium; quæ in Itinere Orientali observavit Petrus Forskål. Post Mortem Auctoris edidit Carsten Niebuhr. Adjuncta est Materia Medica Kakirina atque Tabula Maris Rubri Geographica. Hauniæ : Mölleri 1-19, i-xxxiv, 164 pp., 1 map. 

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls. 

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls. 

Nanami, A., Kurihara, T., Kurita, Y., Aonuma, Y., Suzuki, N. & Yamada, H. 2010. Age, growth and reproduction of the humpback red snapper Lutjanus gibbus off Ishigaki Island, Okinawa. Ichthyological Research 57(3): 240 - 244.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Russell, B., Smith-Vaniz, W.F., Lawrence, A., Carpenter, K.E. & Myers, R. 2016. Lutjanus gibbus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T194385A2328128. Downloaded on 09 June 2018.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37346028

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-150 m

Fishing:Recreational/commercial fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:50 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map