Animal Species:Moses' Snapper, Lutjanus russellii (Bleeker, 1849)
The Moses' Snapper has a grey body often with a reddish tinge. There is a diffuse black spot (sometimes faint) mostly above the lateral line below the soft part of the dorsal fin. Juvenile Moses' Snapper look similar to adults, but have four to five brown stripes on the body, and an ocellus on the back.
Standard Common Name
Fingermark Bream, Moses Perch, Red Bream, Russell's Sea-perch, Russell's Snapper
The Moses' Snapper has a grey body often with a reddish tinge. There is a diffuse black spot (sometimes faint) mostly above the lateral line below the soft part of the dorsal fin.
Juvenile Moses' Snapper look similar to adults, but have four to five brown stripes on the body, and an ocellus on the back.
The species grows to 45 cm in length.
The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea and East Africa, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to Fiji.
In Australia it is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country, and south to southern New South Wales.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Adult Moses' Snapper inhabit inshore reefs and rocky areas. They occasionally enter estuaries. Juvenile Moses' Snapper are often seen in the lower reaches of freshwater streams and mangrove estuaries. It is found at depths from 3 m to 80 m.
Feeding and Diet
The species feed primarily on benthic invertebrates and fishes.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 220.
- Allen, G.R. 1985. Snappers of the World. An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Lutjanid Species known to Date. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 6. FAO. Rome. Pp. 208, Pl. I-XXVII.
- Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
- Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 251.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology