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Yellowtail Snapper

Ocyurus chrysurus

ON EXHIBIT:  Secret Reef in Ocean Journey

Yellowtail Snapper

Snappers have an oval-shaped body. The deep fork of their caudal fin helps them swim quickly through the water. Their name comes from a yellow line that begins at the snout, widens down the length of the body, and covers their entire tail. Yellowtail have a slightly sweet flesh, making them a popular game fish. They are not currently being overfished and are a good sustainable seafood choice.

The yellowtail snapper is not listed as endangered or vulnerable with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Shrimp trawlers account for a large portion of the total fishing mortality on this snapper, as juveniles occur in nursery areas that often contain large numbers of shrimp.

Serve & Protect

About This Animal

SIZE: Adults average 34 inches long

RANGE: They are found along the North American coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Although they have been found as far north as Massachusetts, their normal range is along Florida down through the West Indies and Brazil.

HABITAT: Adults live over sandy areas near deep reefs, smaller adults are found over hard bottom habitats and juveniles live in seagrass beds.

DIET:  Adults feed on invertebrates, including crabs, shrimp, cephalopods, and worms, as well as smaller fish. Juveniles feed on plankton.