Larval Fish: Family Lutjanidae

The snapper family, Lutjanidae, is a common and commercially important group of fishes. Several species are found in the shallow waters around Carrie Bow Cay. The larvae are largely transparent with a conspicuous, opaque abdominal cavity. The specimens below represent three species.

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Lutjanidae, USNM 352905

Lutjanidae, 17 mm SL, USNM 352905. With 12 segmented dorsal-fin rays, this specimen could belong to either of two species, Lutjanus synagris of L. mahogani. The lateral blotch has not developed yet. Otherwise, the pigment resembles that of the following specimen, indicating that it may be a slightly younger L. synagris.

Lutjanidae, USNM 352903

Lutjanus synagris, 18 mm SL, USNM 352903. Lutjanus synagris is one of two species of Lutjanus with 12 soft dorsal-fin rays, the other being L. mahogani. The lateral blotch of this specimen is located mostly above the lateral line, indicating that it is L. synagris.

Lutjanidae, USNM 352904

Lutjanidae, 15.5 mm SL, USNM 352904. This specimen has 14 soft dorsal-fin rays and a substantial amount of yellow pigment around the dorsal- and anal-fin bases and on the caudal peduncle. Its identity is uncertain.

Lutjanidae, USNM 353147

Lutjanus apodus, 15 mm SL, USNM 353147. The characteristic bars are beginning to develop.

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