Snapper

snapperRed snapper have a sloped profile, medium-to-large scales, a spiny dorsal-fin and a laterally compressed body. They have short, sharp, needle-like teeth. Both jaws have villiform teeth, but the lower jaws are slightly larger. The upper jaw also has several canine teeth. The lower jaw protrudes slightly beyond the upper. Their prominent upper canine teeth are like found on the mutton, dog, and mangrove snappers. There are no teeth on ectopterygoids. The depth of its body is a little more than a 1/3rd of its length, being rather deep and compressed, the back elevated and regularly arched from the eye to the tail. The head is large, its length equal to the depth of the body, with a pointed snout, large mouth, and straight profile. They have long triangular snout; anal-fin sharply pointed; no dark lateral spot.


They have a single dorsal-fin with 10 spines and 14, rarely 13 or 15, soft-rays, spinous portion of fin not deeply incised at its connection with soft-portion. Anal-fin with 3 spines and 9, sometimes 8, soft-rays, angulated in specimens more than about 5 cm standard length. Last soft-ray of both dorsal and anal fins is not extended. Their caudal-fin truncate to lunate, pectoral-fin has 15 to 18, usually 17, rays. Membranes of soft dorsal and anal fins have scales. There are 46 to 51, usually 47 or 48 tubed scales in lateral line. There are 7 to 10 scales above lateral line and 15 to 19 scales below lateral line. Maxilla does not have any scales. There are 21 to 24 gill rakers including 6 to 8 on first arch on upper limb and 14 to 16 on lower limb.


Their entire body and fins are pinkish red in color, with more intense pigment on the back, lightening to a rosy white underside. The vibrant red color of these fish comes from high levels of carotenoid pigments, largely astaxanthin, coming from shrimp in their natural diet. The color is paler on the throat; fins all red, the vertical fins bordered with dusky blue; there is a dark blotch under the front of the soft portion of the dorsal-fin (persisting to about 25 to 30 cm standard length), except in the oldest and largest fish; the iris of the eye is scarlet. The caudal-fin has dark distal border. Juvenile fish can also have a dark spot on their side which fades with age. At a size less than 35 cm (14 in) red snapper exhibit a dark spot on the upper sides below the anterior soft dorsal rays. Juveniles sometimes display bluish stripes on their sides.
Red snapper average 24 in (60 cm) in length, with a maximum size of 39 in (100 cm) and up to 20 lbs (9 kg). Estimated maximum age is 40-50 years. Growth is approximately 10 cm (4 in) per year for the first 6 years, after which the growth rate generally declines.

Habitats
The Red Snapper, a deep-water Quepos fish, commonly inhabits waters from 30 to 200 ft (10 to 60 m), but can be caught as deep as 300 ft (100 m) or more on occasion with the temperature range from 50 to 70 F (10 - 21 C). They stay relatively close to the bottom, and inhabit rocky bottom, ledges, ridges, and artificial reefs, including offshore oil rigs and shipwrecks. Juveniles inhabit shallow waters, most abundantly over sand or mud bottoms.
The red snapper is a bottom fish, feeding in company with the large groupers on small fishes, crustaceans, cephalopods, miscellaneous benthic invertebrates, and planktonic organisms. It grows to 20 or 30 lbs, but its common size is from 5 to 10 lbs. Adult red snapper live offshore on the continental shelf, over deep reefs, banks, and rock bottoms. Older, larger fish tend to prefer the cooler, deeper spots. Young red snapper live in muddy and sandy bottoms. As juveniles mature they seek out cover in the form of ledges, rock outcroppings, and wrecks. During winter they move offshore to avoid the cooler, shallow inshore waters.

Fish Quepos, Costa Rica for Red Snapper with Mar 1 Sport Fishing

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