Redtail Snapper, Candy Snapper, Candy Striper
Managed by: SAFMC
The lane snapper is rose with a faint greenish tint on the back and upper sides, which reveal several obscure, verticle dark bars. A series of 8 to 10 horozontal yellow stripes traverse the lower sides, and a dark lateral spot, larger than the eye, is located below the soft dorsal fin, just above the lateral line. The position and size of this mark, in addition to an anchor-shaped tooth patch on the roof of the mouth, 18-22 gill rackers on the first arch, and a rounder anal fin, separate the species from its close relatives. The mahogany snapper, Lutjanus mahogoni, is similar in appearance, with 12 dorsal rays, but the lateral spot is smaller and lower on the body.
The lane snapper is known to occur in a variety of habitats ranging from coral reefs in clear water to grass flats and mangrove-boardered estuaries where the waters are brackish and murky. The spawning season begins as early as March and lasts through September. Both sexes are capable of reproducing after the first year, or about 6-7 inches in length. The largest recorded lane snapper was 23 inches and 5 pounds, and probably older than 10 years. Like other small snappers, the lane snapper is an opportunistic carnivore and feeds on many different types of animals that live on or near the bottom.
(For areas three-200 miles off the coasts of NC, SC, GA, and East Florida)