Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    niger
    Genus
    Macolor
    Family
    Lutjanidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 60 cm in length.

Introduction

The Black-and-white Snapper occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific. They are a prized food fish and are caught both commercially and by recreational fishermen. It is sometimes confused with the Midnight Seaperch.

Identification

The Black-and-white Snapper is a moderately elongated fish with a large weakly forked caudal fin. It has many (85-108) long gill rakers that are used to sieve plankton from the water.

It is usually a plain bluish-grey above and paler below. It has dark fins. The head may have a reticulated pattern of pale bluish lines.

Distribution

It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific.

In Australia it is known from off north-western Western Australia and from the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Ozcam map of Black-and-white Snapper specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=macolor%20niger&zoom=off#mapView

Feeding and diet

The Black-and-white Snapper sieve plankton from the water through their long gill rakers.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. 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.
  3. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.