Lutjanus buccanella

Common Name

Blackfin Snapper

Year Described

Cuvier, 1828


Dorsal Fin: X, 14
Anal Fin: III, 8-9 (usually 8)
Pectoral Fin: 16-18
Gill Rakers: 7-9 upper, 17-19 lower; 25-27 total
Lateral Line Scales: 47-50

Body relatively deep and moderately compressed. Upper and lower jaws with a row of conical teeth. Anterior upper jaw teeth enlarged. Vomerine teeth in a anchor-shaped patch with a median extension. Palatine teeth an elongate band. Ectopterygoid teeth absent. Soft dorsal and anal fins with scales on membranes. Maxilla scaleless. No distinct notch between spiny and soft dorsal fins. Last dorsal ray not elongated. Soft dorsal fin rounded. Anal fin rounded. Caudal fin emarginate.


Body bright red to red-orange above, grading to pinkish or silvery below. A dark blotch at the pectoral fin base. Eye golden to red. Fins in large adults are body colored. Younger fish are plain gray on the body but have bright yellow soft dorsal, caudal, and anal fins and a yellow wash over the caudal peduncle. Yellow fin pigment persists into adult fish.


Maximum size to 66cm TL. Commonly to 50cm TL.


Deep continental waters (60-230m) over soft and hard bottoms and around rocky ledges. Juveniles in shallower water near reefs.


North Carolina to NE Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Also Bermuda.


Anderson, W.D. 2002. Lutjanidae (pp. 1479-1504). In: Carpenter. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 3: Bony fishes part 2 (Opistognathidae to Molidae). FAO Species Identification Guides for Fisheries Purposes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5. FAO of the U.N., Rome.