Yellowtail Snapper

Ocyurus chrysurus

About This Animal

SIZE: Adults average 34 inches long

RANGE: They are found along the North American coast of the Atlantic Ocean

HABITAT: Adults live over sandy areas near deep reefs, smaller adults are found over hard bottom habitats and juveniles live in seagrass beds.

DIET: Adults feed on invertebrates - crabs, shrimp, cephalopods, and worms, as well as smaller fish. Juveniles feed on plankton

ON EXHIBIT:  Secret Reef in Ocean Journey

Snappers have an oval-shaped body. The deep fork of their caudal fin helps them swim quickly through the water. Their name comes from a yellow line that begins at the snout, widens down the length of the body, and covers their entire tail. Yellowtail have a slightly sweet flesh, making them a popular game fish. They are not currently being overfished and are a good sustainable seafood choice.

The yellowtail snapper is not listed as endangered or vulnerable with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Shrimp trawlers account for a large portion of the total fishing mortality on this snapper, as juveniles occur in nursery areas that often contain large numbers of shrimp.