Lutjanus synagris

Common Name

Lane Snapper

Year Described

Linnaeus, 1758


Dorsal Fin: X, 12-13 (usually 12)
Anal Fin: III, 8-9 (usually 8)
Pectoral Fin: 15-16
Gill Rakers: 6-7 upper, 12-15 lower; 18-22 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 short 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 silvery blue, silvery pink, or pale red above, grading to whitish below. A reddish wash on the nape in some individuals. Several horizontal yellow stripes on body below the lateral line (often broken into dashes). Oblique yellow stripes above lateral line are thinner and broken up. Yellow lines run from snout to eye. A dark blotch larger than the eye is usually present under the soft dorsal fin at the lateral line level (sometimes very faint). Displays faint body bars occasionally. Dorsal fin dusky with a yellow margin. Caudal fin dusky to red with a darker margin. Pelvic and anal fins yellow.


Maximum size to 71cm TL. Commonly to 30cm TL.


Coastal waters from 1-40m, usually over hard bottoms/reefs but also in seagrass beds. Forms aggregations.


North Carolina to SE 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.

Loftus, W. F. 1992. Lutjanus ambiguus (Poey), a natural intergeneric hybrid of Ocyurus chrysurus (Bloch) and Lutjanus synagris (Linnaeus). Bulletin of Marine Science v. 50 (no. 3): 489-500.

Other Notes

Lutjanus ambiguus (Poey, 1860) is a natural hybrid between this species and Ocyurus chrysurus (Loftus, 1992).