View Full Version : Another Mystery Fish
09-18-2003, 02:38 PM
I have seen a snapper in the keys that I have never been able to identify. I've never shot any of them, but have been tempted. I say snapper since that is the body shape and I always thought they were a mahogany snapper, but the photo ID's I've found don't really look quite the same.
The fish's body is very silvery and smooth with a snapper shape and the tail has a dark burgundy color to it. I've seen them in the 10" range or so mostly on the shallow reef areas. Any ideas? Sorry, I no photo samples.
09-18-2003, 02:58 PM
Did it have a spot on its side (like a mahogany) and look like this drawing of a lane snapper? The artist overdid the coloration of the fish's side a bit, and the water filters out the red so the fish may appear silvery with light yellow to pink stripes; the tail is usually red.
The only other snapper I can think of that fits your description is a juvenile mutton, but I assume that you are familiar with them.
09-18-2003, 06:50 PM
Did it appear to have a larger eye than most of the other snapper? I would think that it is a Mahogany Snapper. They often look very silver with an overall red color consintrated at the tail. Over sand they are very shiny, near coral they are usually more red.
09-18-2003, 08:52 PM
I think keys is hitting it on the head with the description. The body almost seems devoid of color except for the deep red/burgundy colored tail. The eye does seem a good bit larger than most other snapper. Good eating? I don't remember if it has a spot near the tail or not. The odd coloration is what always struck me the most.
09-18-2003, 08:57 PM
Never shot or caught one, so have never eaten. But the books say they are comparable to the other small snapper. Never been hungry or desperate enough to take a shot on one. See them often shallow. I have friends that I am sure have eaten them and will ask asap.
09-18-2003, 09:00 PM
They appear to be loners. I've never seen a school of them so filling a stringer of mahogany snapper seems a little out of the question. But, on some of those shallow reef dives where nothing seems to be happening, a snapper by any name beats a grunt in my book:D
09-18-2003, 09:08 PM
They seem to always hang over a depression or near a small peice of structure, like a Red Grouper. And they are usually alone.
09-18-2003, 09:11 PM
Yep, can't look at them twice or they are over the hills and far away:cool:
09-18-2003, 11:18 PM
So? What looks like mahogany, but isn't quite a mohogany, but isn't a a lane or a mutton, but runs away before you can get a picture or know for sure?
An Elvis snapper? :D
09-19-2003, 06:17 AM
have you considered that it may not even be a snapper?
there are several species of Haemulidae (grunts) that are similar to snaper shape and color.
one would be the Sailor's Choice Haemulon parrai
link to scientific description (http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=1139&genusname=Haemulon&speciesname=parra)
09-19-2003, 06:19 AM
here's a link to a description of the mahogony (http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=161&genusname=Lutjanus&speciesname=mahogoni)
they tend to be solitary, and are not that common down here in the keys.
09-19-2003, 10:38 AM
Definately the mahogany snapper. I've not seen many of them, but they seem to stand out from the other fish because of their coloration. Thanks.
09-19-2003, 04:10 PM
Keezdiver, have you been looking at the fish when you are counting them? I see Mahogany Snapper on a regular basis. I'll try to point some out the next time we go sight seeing together. Are you sure the fish in the photo is a mahogany?, it doesn't have the black spot. Or is it becouse it is a very small fish in an aquarium.
09-19-2003, 08:34 PM
positive that is a mahogony...
snapper typicallly have the spot when they are juvenile, and lose it as they mature...with the exception of the mutton and the lane...they have them all the time
mahogony are on the reef, but no where near as common as the schoolmaster, grays or yellowtail
for the counts we do for our surveys, they are somewhat uncommon...probably less then 10 per month...out of several thousand fish counted.
but realize we dive ALOT of shallow low releif hardbottom...
09-22-2003, 12:48 PM
09-23-2003, 07:18 AM
how bout the close cousin of the Blue Tang...
the Pun Tang Acanthurus clitoris
sorry...just a little fish biologist joke
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