Mutton Snapper (Lutjanus analis)

Mutton Snapper
Scientific name: Lutjanus analis

This snapper is a deep-bodied fish with a moon-shaped tail. It has a bi-lobed dorsal fin and a sharp pointed anal fin. Its long pectoral fins reach just past the anal origin. Color varies with size and habitat. The young snapper has an overall rosy apperance and red fins, and looks bright in shallow waters. The adult is greenish on the dorsal side and reddish on the ventral side. All sizes show blue lines in the operculum (gill cover) and along the back. A dark blotch can be seen near the dorsal fin. Vague vertical stripes can be seen on the body of the snapper.

Young mutton snappers live inshore among grassbeds and corals. Adult snappers are offshore inhabitants. Solitary adults are seen among the reefs while the young associate with the grass bottoms. When adults become settled in one area, they remain there. Small schools of mutton snappers form during the day and separate during the night.

Florida locations:
The mutton snappers can be found in south Florida and the Keys.