Please add Dog Snapper, Lutjanus jocu

Common Name: 
Dog Snapper
Scientific Name: 
Lutjanus jocu
Main Photo: 
I know this species is already added but I am having difficulty with ID and was hoping someone could help out. The scales above the lateral line appear to angle upwards and I think I see the right edge of the triangle under the eye, the rest is difficult to see because of the glare. Thank you!

Species Assigned:

Adult Size : 

Proposed Species Group:

Region Caught:

Closed Without Identification: 


BradleyR's picture

I was thinking perhaps @uconn fishhead would be able to help with this one :)

BradleyR's picture

General consensus seems to be leaning towards Dog now...

uconn fishhead's picture

Hi BradleyR, 

The reason I researched these common snappers is because I knew something was wrong with the Roughfish Dogs - they all looked different.  More selfishly, I wanted to make sure I had a chance of recognizing a Dog before I just chucked it back thinking it was something else.  I've never seen a Dog Snapper in the flesh and am not sure how much variation in color there can be.

All that said, I'm leaning toward Dog:

1) Yes, the scales above the lateral line seem to be angling upward (except for the first few dorsally)

2) Maybe it has a white triangle under the eye.  This would have been best determined by inspecting the fish in hand.

3) The most convincing thing pointing toward Dog is that the pectoral fin appears to be long (would reach the anus).

Detractors: 1)  It's color is very much like so many of the Mangroves.

                   2) It's canine teeth don't look that prominent (i.e. would they stick out if the mouth was closed?)

Boy, I caught a bunch of new fish this year that I almost couldn't ID because I didn't look at the right characters. This makes me determined to be extra anal in future about taking lots of photos of any new fish from lots of different angles, including closeups of all fins.  Of course, if it's something really challenging like a Cyprinid, I probably would have to keep (kill) the fish to make sure of the ID.  I only say kill because by the time anyone's done counting all the scale rows and fin rays, etc. it's not going to be doing too well...

BradleyR's picture

Thank you :) All excellent points, it really is seeming like this could be an armchair lifer :)

uconn fishhead's picture

If I caught this fish, I would probably write a disclaimer in the comments saying it's possible that it's just a Mangrove disguised as a Dog.

BradleyR's picture

Yep, I think I will do just that :) Thank you