Dog Snapper: Lutjanus jocu


  • Color brown with a bronze tinge, lighter on sides
  • Canine teeth are very sharp and one pair is notably enlarged, visible even when the mouth is closed
  • In adults, a pale triangle and a light blue interrupted line are below the eye
  • No dark spot is found on the body underneath dorsal fin


Large adults are found offshore over coral and rocky reefs.  Juveniles are associated with estuaries.


Dog snapper spawn from spring through fall.  Known as night feeders, these snapper eat fishes, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Additional Information

State Record: This species is not currently eligible for a state record.

Similar Fish: schoolmaster, L. apodus (no white triangle under eye and fins are more yellow); other snappers.

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
Florida has several grant programs that offer funding to enhance recreational boating access.

Learn More at AskFWC