Giant Ruby Snapper, Etelis boweni Andrews, Fernandez‐Silva, Randall & Ho 2021

Other Names: Bowen's Red Snapper, Bowen's Snapper

Giant Ruby Snapper, Etelis boweni. Source: CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A large orange-red tropical snapper becoming silvery-white below, with a black tip on the upper caudal-fin lobe. The species has a robust head, a steep dorsal profile, a slightly protruding lower jaw, and an indistinct, rounded opercular spine that is fully covered by skin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Etelis boweni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Mar 2024,

Giant Ruby Snapper, Etelis boweni Andrews, Fernandez‐Silva, Randall & Ho 2021

More Info


Southwest Western Australia to off the Dampier Peninsula; also Christmas Island in the Eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea to Western Australia and to Samoa.


Gill rakers 11-12.


Maximum size exceeding 150 cm TL.

Similar Species

Etelis boweni differs from the similar E. carbunculus, in adult body length, the proportions of the eye, snout, cheek and caudal fin, the shape of the head, opercular spine and sagittal otolith, and in the coloration of the tip of the upper caudal fin lobe. The two species have overlapping distributions, and are often caught together.


The authors are grateful to name this fish after Dr. Brian W. Bowen of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaiʻi, in recognition of his contributions to the field of Ichthyology, and in particular for his use of molecular genetic techniques in support of the taxonomy of fishes.

Species Citation

Etelis boweni Andrews, Fernandez-Silva, Randall & Ho 2021, Journal of Fish Biology 99(2): 337, Figs. 1-3a, 4a, c, e, 5a. Type locality: Off Yanbu, al-Madinah, Red Sea, Saudi Arabia, circa 24°03'33.0"N, 38°02'41.6"E.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Giant Ruby Snapper, Etelis boweni Andrews, Fernandez‐Silva, Randall & Ho 2021


Andrews, K.R., Copus, J.M., Wilcox, C., Williams, A.J., et al. 2020. Range-wide population structure of 3 deepwater Eteline snappers across the Indo-Pacific Basin. Journal of Heredity 111(5): 471–485,

Andrews, K.R., Fernandez‐Silva, I., Randall, J.E. & Ho, H.‐C. 2021. Etelis boweni sp. nov., a new cryptic deepwater Eteline snapper from Indo‐Pacific (Perciformes: Lutjanidae). Journal of Fish Biology 99(2): 335-344.

Andrews, K.R., Williams, A.J., Fernandez-Silva, I., Newman, S.J.,  Copus, J.M., Wakefield, C.B., Randall, J.E., Bowen, B.W. 2016. Phylogeny of deepwater snappers (genus Etelis) reveals a cryptic species pair in the Indo-Pacific and Pleistocene invasion of the Atlantic. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 100: 361-371,

Mous, P.J., IGede, W.B. & Pet, J.S. 2022. Length-based assessment of the fisheries targeting snappers, groupers and emperors in Indonesia, Fishery Management Area 573. Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara and People and Nature Consulting, Jakarta Indonesia. Report AR_573_280622, 91 pp.

Sih, T.L., Williams, A.J., Hu, Y. & Kingsford, M.J. 2022. High-resolution otolith elemental signatures in eteline snappers from valuable deepwater tropical fisheries. Journal of Fish Biology 100(6): 1475–1496.

Wakefield, C.B., Williams, A.J., Fisher, E.A., Hall, N.G., et al. 2020. Variations in life history characteristics of the deep-water giant ruby snapper (Etelis sp.) between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and application of a data-poor assessment. Fisheries Research 230: 105651,

Wakefield, C.B., Williams, A.J., Newman, S.J., Bunel, M., et al. 2014. Rapid and reliable multivariate discrimination for two cryptic eteline snappers using otolith morphometry, Fisheries Research 151: 100-106,

Quick Facts

Depth:200-400 m

Fishing:Commercial fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:150+ cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map