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

The Queen Snapper is among the deepest dwelling species of the family Lutjanidae. Its distribution covers the tropical western Atlantic Ocean, from North Carolina to the eastern tip of Brazil, at depths of 130 to 450 m. Inhabits rocky bottoms and feeds mainly on small fishes and squids. They are a magnificent fish that grow up to 30 pounds and are great eating have good quality flesh. They bite hard and fast and fight great.
The Queen Snapper Fishing The Queen Snapper, Etelis oculatus, also known as Pargo cachucho, Vivaneau royal, occurs in the Western Atlantic, ranging from Bermuda and North Carolina southward to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, West Indies and Caribbean Sea. It is commonly found near oceanic islands, and is particularly abundant in the Bahamas and the Antilles.

The Queen Snapper has elongate and slender body with large eyes and short snout (shorter than eye diameter) and flattened Interorbital area. Usually 1 or 2 canine or canine-like anterior teeth on each side of upper jaw (and frequently on each side of lower jaw), followed on both upper and lower jaws by a series of conical small teeth; lower jaw slightly projecting, it is better developed and more widely spaced; vomer and palatines with teeth, teeth on vomer in a hardly V-shaped patch (patch rarely almost triangular); no teeth on ectopterygoids. There are 23 to 28 gill rakers on first arch, 7 to 11 on upper limb and 14 to 18 on lower limb (including rudiments).

Dorsal fin single, distinctly notched, with 10 spines and 11, rarely 10, soft rays, but spinous portion of fin deeply incised at its junction with soft portion. Anal fin has 3 spines and 8 soft rays. Last soft ray of both dorsal and anal fins shaped, longer than next to last ray. Caudal fin deeply forked, the lobes moderately short to relatively long; upper lobe of caudal fin well produced in some species. Pectoral fin has 15 or 16 rays. Maxilla covered with small scales. Bases of dorsal and anal fins are without scales. There are 47 to 50 tubed lateral-line scales. Scale rows on the back are running parallel with the lateral line. The Fish Diagram

    Their color of back and upper sides are deep pink to red, lower sides and belly pale pink to silvery; iris of eye red; spinous portion of dorsal fin and entire caudal fin brilliant red, other fins brilliant pink to pale; no dark lateral spot.

The Queen Snapper is bathydemersal and moves offshore to deepwater reefs and rocky ledges as it grows and matures. They are primarily found over rocky reef bottom habitat, in depths of 300 to 1,500 ft (100 to 450 m), on mud slopes at a depth of 1,500 ft (460 m). Adults are abundant near oceanic islands. Young fish suspend at mid-depths. They feed on small fishes, squids, and crustaceans.

They reach maturity at length 21 in (54 cm) and 1 year old. Spawning occur during April and May.

Fishing Methods. The Queen Snapper are deep-water snapper, mostly found very deep in 1,500 feet of water. They are elusive, but quite a magnificent fish, that grow up to 30 pounds and are great eating. They reside mostly on rocky reef bottom and form schools with large numbers. The Queen Snapper eat squid and bonita. They bite hard and fast and fight great. Snappers caught mainly with single and multiple handlines and with bottom longlines. Marketed mostly fresh, sometimes frozen. Flesh of good quality.
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