A member of the Lutjanidae family of snapper and important commercially, the gray snapper is a good gamefish and also an excellent food fish. It is commonly referred to as the mangrove snapper.
Other Namesmangrove snapper; French: sarde grise, vivaneau sarde grise; Portuguese: caranha, castanhola, luciano; Spanish: caballerote, pargo manglero, pargo prieto.
IdentificationThe coloring of the gray snapper is variable, from dark gray or dark brown to gray-green. The belly is grayish tinged with olive, bronze, or red, sometimes described as having reddish or orange spots running in rows on the lower sides.
A dark horizontal band occasionally runs from the lip through the eye, and some fish may have dark vertical bars or blotches along the sides. The tail may also have a dark margin, and the anal fin is rounded. There are two conspicuous canine teeth at the front of the upper jaw.
The gray snapper can be distinguished from the cubera snapper by the shape of the tooth patch in the mouth, which is triangular in the cubera snapper and anchor shaped in the gray snapper.