Cubera Snapper: Lutjanus cyanopterus


  • Color dark brown or gray, may have a reddish tinge
  • Broad-based triangular tooth patch on roof of mouth without a posterior extension
  • Despite its specific name, which translates to "blue-fin," the fins have only a slight tinge of blue; canine teeth in both jaws very strong
  • One pair of canines are enlarged and visible even when the mouth is closed


Juveniles are found inshore in grass beds.  Adults are common offshore and nearshore over wrecks, reefs, and ledges.


Cubera snappers are the largest of the snappers, ranging to 125 pounds.  .  They are not common anywhere in its range.  These snapper feed on fishes and larger crustaceans.  Spawning occurs in the late summer in the Keys.

Additional Information

State Record: 116 lb, caught near Clearwater

Similar Fish: gray snapper.

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
Four species of horseshoe crabs exist today. Only one species, Limulus polyphemus, is found in North America, along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to Mexico.

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