Yellowtail Snapper

Yellowtail Snapper

Y is for Yellowtail Snapper

Yellowtail snapper are the sport model of snapper. They have sleek bodies that are light silvery, tinged with blue with a bright yellow midbody racing stripe and yellow tail. The tail is deeply forked. These fish are very fast. They reside alone and in loose schools.

The adult yellowtail snapper lives in sandy areas near deep reef in depths of 32 to 230 feet while the juveniles live within the sea grass beds which also offer them protection and food.

The adult snapper is most active at night when it feeds on crabs, shrimp, cephalopods, worms, gamete and fish. They have been observed feeding in roving bands of mixed species of fish. Yellowtail snapper will sometimes blend in with yellow goatfish feeding together. While the goatfish seek their prey of buried invertebrates, the yellowtail snapper feed on unsuspecting small fish not threatened by the goatfish. The juvenile snapper feed on plankton since they live in the sea grass beds.

Reproduction in the yellowtail snapper occurs year round and peaks at different times in different places. However, there is a general decline in reproduction during winter. The yellowtail snapper reproduces by releasing eggs, which contain oil droplets for buoyancy, into the open water. The eggs hatch into larvae within 24 hours. Yellowtail snapper have been observed spawning in groups.

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