Animal Species:Red Bass, Lutjanus bohar (Forsskal, 1775)
Adult Red Bass are red with brownish to black shading along the back and usually on the uppermost rays of the pectoral fin. Deep grooves run from the eyes to the nostrils. The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific.
Standard Common Name
The Red Bass is red with brownish to black shading along the back and usually on the uppermost rays of the pectoral fin. It has deep grooves that run from the eyes to the nostrils.
The species grows to 75 cm in length but is more commonly seen at lengths up to 50 cm.
It occurs widely in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is known from the central to north-western coast and islands of Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef to southern 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.
Distribution by collection data
Feeding and Diet
The Red Bass feeds mainly on fishes but will also consume other prey such as crustaceans.
Research of Marriott and Mapstone (2006) showed that the species is long lived. Up to 56 annual rings were found in otoliths of Red Bass from the Great Barrier Reef, indicating that the species can live at least 56 years.
The Red Bass is an important commercial fish in many areas. In the western Pacific (including Australia), large individuals can potentially cause ciguatera poisoning.
- 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.
- Isbister, G.K. & M.C. Kiernan. 2005. Neurotoxic marine poisoning. The Lancet Neurology. 4(4): 219 - 228.
- Marriott, R.J. & B.D. Mapstone. 2006. Geographic influences on and the accuracy and precision of age estimates for the red bass, Lutjanus bohar (Forsskal 1775): A large tropical reef fish. Fisheries Research. 80 (2-3):322-328.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Edition 2. Crawford House Publishing. Pp. 557.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow