Lutjanus vivanus

Common Name

Silk Snapper

Year Described

Cuvier, 1828


Dorsal Fin: X, 13-14 (usually 14)
Anal Fin: III, 7-8 (usually 8)
Pectoral Fin: 16-18
Gill Rakers: 6-9 upper, 16-17 lower; 22-25 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. Scales above lateral line 10-12, scales below lateral line 20-24, and sum of scales on, above, and below lateral line totals 81-88. No distinct notch between spiny and soft dorsal fins. Last dorsal ray not elongated. Soft dorsal fin rounded. Anal fin angular and pointed. Caudal fin lunate.


Body red, pink, or salmon above, grading to whitish on the belly. Eye golden (Red Snappers have red eyes). Dorsal fin body colored with yellow on the margin of the fin. Anal fin pink with some yellow on the soft portion. Pectoral fin yellow. Caudal fin body colored with a yellow or dusky posterior margin. Smaller fish sometimes with red and white bars and with a dark spot under the anterior dorsal fin


Maximum size to 84cm TL. Commonly to 50cm TL.


Deeper continental shelf waters from 90-240m over hard and soft bottom habitats.


North Carolina to central 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.