Crimson Snapper, Lutjanus erythropterus Bloch 1790

Other Names: Crimson Seaperch, High-brow Sea-perch, Longman's Sea Perch, Longman's Sea-perch, Red Bream, Saddle-tailed Perch, Saddle-tailed Sea-perch, Small-mouth Nannygai, Small-mouth Sea-perch

Crimson Snapper, Lutjanus erythropterus, at the Yongala wreck, ESE Townsville, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, July 2020. Source: @kopper / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

An overall pink or reddish tropical snapper, including fins, sometimes with a darker margin on the tail. Juveniles have a broad, oblique, black band extending from the mouth through the eye to the beginning of the dorsal fin, and a large black spot on the caudal peduncle (often saddle-like), and sometimes fine red stripes along the side.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Lutjanus erythropterus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Crimson Snapper, Lutjanus erythropterus Bloch 1790

More Info


Bernier Island, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Hervey Bay, Queensland, with one specimen from Sydney Harbour. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific.
Occurs in trawl grounds, reefs, on shoals, rubble, corals, large epibenthos, hard or sandy mud substrates and offshore reefs. Juveniles inhabit shallow, estuarine waters over muddy, silty and coarse sand/rubble substrates.


Dorsal fin X, 12-14; Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fin 16-17; Gill rakers 18-19.
Body deep, depth 2.5-3.0 in SL; mouth relatively small, length of upper jaw shorter than distance between base of last dorsal and anal rays; vomerine teeth (on roof of mouth) in a V-shaped or triangular patch, without a medial posterior extension; no teeth present on tongue; preopercular notch and knob poorly developed. Dorsal and anal fins rounded posteriorly; caudal fin emarginate. Scale rows on back rising obliquely above lateral line. 


Feeds at night mostly on fishes, and also on crustaceans, cephalopods and other benthic invertebrates.


A relatively slow-growing and long-lived, longevity is 42 years; males reach maturity at about 24 cm, and females at 25-30 cm. Spawning occurs year round in Australia and Indonesia.


The species may be susceptible to over-fishsing due to its long-lived, slow-growing life history characteristics. It is taken with handlines and bottom trawls, and is heavily fished in parts of its range.

Species Citation

Lutjanus erythropterus Bloch 1790,  Naturgeschichte der ausl√§ndischen Fische 4: 115. Type locality: Japan.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Crimson Snapper, Lutjanus erythropterus Bloch 1790


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. 

Blaber, S.J.M., Dichmont, C.M., Buckworth, R.C., Badrudin, Sumiono, B., Nurhakim, S., Iskandar, B., Fegen, B., Ramm, D.C. & Salini, J.P. 2005. Shared stocks of snappers (Lutjanidae) in Australia and Indonesia: Integrating biology, population dynamics and socio-economics to examine management scenarios. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 15: 111-127.

Bloch, M.E. 1790. Naturgeschichte der ausl√§ndischen Fische. Berlin : J. Morino Vol. 4 128 pp. pls 217-252. 

Fry, G., Milton, D.A., Van Der Velde, T., Stobutzki, I., Andamari, R. & Sumiono, B. 2009. Reproductive dynamics and nursery habitat preferences of two commercially important Indo-Pacific red snappers Lutjanus erythropterus and L. malabaricusFisheries Science 75: 145-158.

Fry, G.C. & Milton, D.A. 2009. Age, growth and mortality estimates for populations of red snappers Lutjanus erythropterus and L. malabaricus from northern Australia and eastern Indonesia. Fisheries Science 75(5): 1219-1229.  

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

Govender, A., Carpenter, K.E., Ambuali, A., Al Buwaiqi, B., Al Abdali, F.S.H., Al Kindi, A.S.M., Borsa, P. & Russell, B. 2019. Lutjanus erythropterus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T166905A1150254. Downloaded on 25 October 2021.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp. 

Newman, S.J. & Williams, D.M. 1996. Variation in reef associated assemblages of the Lutjanidae and Lethrinidae at different distances offshore in the central Great Barrier Reef. Environmental Biology of Fishes 46(2): 123.

Ramsay, E.P. 1883. Description of some new Australian fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 8(1): 177-179 (described from Sydney as Genyoroge macleayana)

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. 

Salini, J.P., Ovenden, J.R., Street, R., Pendrey, R., Haryanti, Ngurah. 2006. Genetic population structure of red snappers (Lutjanus malabaricus Bloch & Schneider, 1801 and Lutjanus erythropterus Bloch, 1790) in central and eastern Indonesia and northern Australia. Journal of Fish Biology 68: 217-234.

Takahashi, M., DiBattista, J.D., Jarman, S. et al. 2020. Partitioning of diet between species and life history stages of sympatric and cryptic snappers (Lutjanidae) based on DNA metabarcoding. Scientific Reports 10: 4319.

Whitley, G.P. 1937. Studies in Ichthyology No. 10. Records of the Australian Museum 20(1): 3-24 figs 1-5 pl. 2 (described from off Lindeman Island, Queensland as Lutjanus longmani)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37346005

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-100 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:58 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map