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The Mahogany Snapper fish identification, habitats, characteristics, Fishing methods

The mahogany snapper has a typical snapper body shape, a pointed head, obvious lips and a slightly compressed oval-shaped body. Their bodies are silver in color with 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. The flesh is usually marketed fresh. They range in size from seven to twelve inches, but can reach a maximum size of fifteen inches. They feed at night mainly on small fish, shrimps, crabs and cephalopods. They are utilized as a food fish and as a game fish and are primarily caught with traps, spears, gill nets and hook and line gear.
The Mahogany Snapper Fishing Mahogany Snapper, Lutjanus mahogoni, Family Snappers, also known as Mahogany Snapper, Mahogony Snapper, Lantern Jaw, Spot Snapper, Pargo and Pargo Ojon. They found in the western Atlantic Ocean, from the Carolinas to Venezuela, including the Gulf of Mexico, West Indies. It is very common in the Caribbean Sea and around Bermuda.

Mahogany Snapper have the typical snapper body shape, pointed head, obvious lips and a slightly compressed and relatively deep oval shaped body. They have a pointed snout and large eyes. Its belly runs straight from the mouth to the rounded anal fin (rounded more than usual in snappers). Preorbital bone broad, maxilla extending nearly to mid-eye level. Preopercular notch and knob moderate. It has a bi-lobed dorsal fin with 10 spines and 12, rarely 11, soft rays and long pectoral fin with 14 or 15 rays. Spinous portion of dorsal fin not deeply incised at its junction with soft portion. Last soft ray of both dorsal and anal fins not elongated. The caudal fin is moderately forked. Anal fin has 3 spines and 8 soft rays.

The canine teeth in both jaws are approximately equal in size, lower jaw just slightly projecting beyond upper jaw. Lower corner of preopercle greatly projecting and strongly serrated. The vomerine tooth patch is either v-shaped or crescent-shaped with a short median posterior extension. There are no teeth on ectopterygoids. There are 22 to 25 gill rakers on first arch, 7 or 8 on upper limb and 15 to 17 on lower limb. Scale rows on back rising obliquely above lateral line. Tubed scales in lateral line 47 to 49; There are no scales on maxilla; Membranes of soft dorsal and anal fins with scales. The Fish Diagram

    Mahogany snappers are very colorful fish. Their back and upper sides are gray to dark olive with a reddish tinge, becoming silvery on the lower sides and belly. There may be a red tinge throughout the entire body. There is a conspicuous black spot on the upper back, about the size of the eye, on lateral line below the anterior soft dorsal-fin rays, 1/4 to 1/2 of it extending below the lateral line. The fins are red to yellow and the large eye and caudal fin are bright red with dusky posterior margin. Lower margin of the preopercle has prominent spur with strong and sharp serrations.

Mahogany Snappers live near shore or offshore in clear, shallow warm water over rocky bottoms and coral reefs and less commonly over sandy areas and sea-grass beds. Their depth ranges to depths of 325 feet (100 m), but generally are seen at depths ranging from 20 to 60 feet. As a warm water species, it is found in temperate waters only during the heat of the summer. During the day, they are found in small to medium size schools, drifting over the reef, often near hard corals, vertical reef structures which can provide protection from any underwater currents. Juveniles are most commonly found in mangrove lagoons or in shallow inshore reef areas.
    The mahogany snapper feeds at night on small bottom fishes such as grunts, on marine invertebrates including shrimp, cephalopods, words, arthropods, octopi, squid and crabs. Often forms large aggregations during the day.

Mahogany snappers exist as separate males and females. They reproduce by spawning in open water with both male and female fish, releasing their gametes simultaneously. The spawn occurs during the months of May, June, and July throughout the mahogany snapper's range. They most commonly spawn in the northeastern Caribbean Sea in August. Pelagic eggs are released and are dispersed by the ocean currents. The fertilization occurs the eggs settle to the bottom where they remain unguarded by the parents until they hatch. Usually the eggs hatch within a day. Larvae are planktonic at lengths less than 10 mm. They eventually settle out of the plankton, onto suitable habitat that offers some protection from predators. Juveniles have been described as pale with pink to red pigmentation on the distal portions of the median fins, and a prominent spot on the upper back.

Fishing Methods. The mahogany snapper is utilized as a food fish and as a game fish. It is primarily caught with traps, spears, gill nets and hook and line gear. The flesh is usually marketed fresh and frozen. The mahogany snapper has an average length of 15 inches (38 cm), with a maximum length of 19 inches (48 cm).
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