Mahogany Snapper Identification

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The mahogany snapper has a typical snapper body shape, a pointed head, obvious lips and a slightly compressed oval-shaped body. Look for the reddish margin on the fins of mahogany snappers with help from a scuba diving instructor in this free video on fish identification and marine life.

Part of the Video Series: Caribbean Fish
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Video Transcript

The marine creature we're going to identify now is the mahogany snapper. The mahogany snapper is obviously a member of the snapper family of fish. And they have the typical snapper body shape, pointed head, obvious lips and a slightly compressed oval shaped body. Their bodies are generally silver in color and can have a reddish tint. The characteristic that distinguishes them from other snappers is that their fins have a reddish margin. They will often have a dark spot about the size of their eye on their upper body toward the end of the dorsal fin. This spot is most often seen in the younger adults and may not be obvious on the more mature fish. During the day, mahogany snappers are generally found in small to medium size schools, hovering over the reef, often near vertical reef structures which can provide protection from any underwater currents. They range in size from seven to twelve inches, but can reach a maximum size of fifteen inches. Although they are relatively uncommon in the waters around Florida, they are a very common fish species in many parts of the Caribbean. They are generally seen at depths ranging from twenty to sixty feet. Juveniles are most commonly found in mangrove lagoons or in shallow inshore reef areas. Adult mahogany snapper groups can often be closely approached with slow deliberate movements. In fact, one can slowly approach a group of mahogany snappers and swim right through the group if one makes a nonthreatening approach. The fish will simply move out of the way just enough to let the diver swim through. But if they feel threatened, they will quickly swim away. Mahogany snappers are carnivores and nocturnal feeders. They feed on other fish, crabs, words, arthropods, octopi and squid. Mahogany snappers exist as separate males and females. Although I can't tell one from another, I guess they can. They reproduce by spawning in open water with both male and female fish, releasing their gametes simultaneously. The fertilized eggs then settle to the bottom where they remain unguarded by the parents until they hatch. That's the mahogany snapper.


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