Saddletail Snapper, Lutjanus malabaricus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

Other Names: Large-mouthed Nannygai, Large-mouthed Sea-perch, Malabar Blood Snapper, Malabar Snapper, Nannygai, Red Bass, Red Bream, Red Emperor, Red Jew, Red Snapper, Saddletail Seaperch, Saddle-tailed Sea Perch, Saddle-tailed Seaperch, Saddle-tailed Sea-perch, Scarlet Emperor, Scarlet Sea Perch, Scarlet Seaperch, Scarlet Sea-perch

A juvenile Saddletail Snapper, Lutjanus malabaricus, in the Gold Coast Seaway, southern Queensland, June 2015. Source: debaston / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Lutjanus malabaricus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jun 2024,

Saddletail Snapper, Lutjanus malabaricus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

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Known in Australia from Shark Bay, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Sydney, New South Wales. Elsewhere, widespread in the tropical Indo-West-Pacific. Juveniles usually in shallow inshore waters.

Inhabit coastal and offshore reefs as adults, often around sponges and gorgonian corals, or hard muddy bottom areas. They often form mixed schools with the Crimson Snapper, Lutjanus erythropterus.


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


Mature at about 9 years of age, males at 27-28 cm SL, females at 35-37 cm SL.


In Australia, the species comprises three biological stocks: the North West Shelf stock, the northern Australian stock (including the Timor Sea, Arafura Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria) and the east coast of Queensland stock.

Saddletail Snapper are an important commercial species  taken using baited traps, handlines, droplines, trot lines and semipelagic otter trawls. The species is also popular with recreational anglers.

Species Citation

Sparus malabaricus Bloch & Schneider,  1801. Systema Ichthyologiae : 278. Type locality: Coromandel, India.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Saddletail Snapper, Lutjanus malabaricus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37346007

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:12-140 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational species

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:100 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map