Darktail Snapper, Lutjanus lemniscatus (Valenciennes 1828)

Other Names: Darktail Seaperch, Dark-tailed Sea Perch, Dark-tailed Seaperch, Dark-tailed Sea-perch, Maroon Sea-perch, Yellowstreaked Snapper

A Darktail Snapper, Lutjanus lemniscatus, in the Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2016. Source: Mark Rosenstein / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A greyish to pinkish-brown, to olive-green or silvery tropical snapper with dusky brown to blackish dorsal and caudal fins (often with a narrow white margin). Juveniles are pale grey with a broad black mid-lateral stripe between narrow white stripes from the tip of the snout to the tail base. Adults from deeper waters are often reddish in colour.
The scale rows along the back rise obliquely above the lateral line and the preopercular notch is poorly developed.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Lutjanus lemniscatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/560

Darktail Snapper, Lutjanus lemniscatus (Valenciennes 1828)

More Info


Shark Bay, Western Australia, to at least Cooktown, Queensland and possibly south to Noosa. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific.
Individuals or groups inhabit coastal reefs, lagoons and outer reef slopes in depths to 80 m. Adults usually occur on deeper offshore reefs.


Dorsal fin X, 13-14; Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fin 16; Gill rakers (first arch) 6-8 + 10-14; Lateral-line scales 47-50. 
Dorsal profile of head steeply sloped, snout profile slightly concave. Preorbital bone usually much greater than eye diameter, at least in large specimens. Preopercular notch and knob poorly developed. Scale rows on back rising obliquely above lateral line. 

Species Citation

Serranus lemniscatus Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1828, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 2: 240. Type locality: Sri Lanka (as Ceylon).


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Darktail Snapper, Lutjanus lemniscatus (Valenciennes 1828)


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. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

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. 

Bleeker, P. 1852. Derde bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Celebes. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 3: 739-782 (as Mesoprion janthinuropterus)

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

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 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

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

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

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.

Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1828. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 2 xxi, 2 + 490 pp., pls 9-40.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37346010

Depth:2-80 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:65 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map