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Blackfin snapper facts for kids

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Blackfin snapper
Lutjanus buccanella SI.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
L. buccanella
Binomial name
Lutjanus buccanella
(G. Cuvier, 1828)
Lutjanus buccanella range.png
  • Mesoprion buccanella G. Cuvier, 1828
  • Mesoprion caudanotatus Poey, 1851

The blackfin snapper (Lutjanus buccanella) is a species of snapper native to the western Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It is a commercially important species, though it has been reported to carry the ciguatera toxin.


Its color is typically a scarlet red with silvery undersides. It has a black crescent-shaped mark at the base of its pectoral fins. The fins are yellow to orange. This species can reach a length of 75 cm (30 in), though most do not exceed 50 cm (20 in). The greatest known weight for this species is 14 kg (31 lb).


The blackfin snapper is found from North Carolina and Bermuda south to northern Brazil. It occurs most commonly in the Caribbean, being especially common around the Antilles.

Habitat and habits

This species inhabits areas near reefs at depths of from 20 to 200 m (66 to 656 ft), usually between 80 and 150 m (260 and 490 ft). Juveniles tend to be found in shallower waters than adults, which tend to inhabit deeper water near drop-offs with sandy or rocky bottoms. Like other snapper, it is predatory and feeds primarily on smaller fish.

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