Lutjanus carponotatus

Spanish flag
Characteristic features:

Pale brown with 8 or 9 orange stripes on sides.


Up to 40 cm TL.


Indo-West Pacific in tropical waters.


Coral reefs in sheltered lagoons and outer reef slopes, also in turbid waters. Adults are found from the surface to 35 m depth.


Feeds on fishes, crustaceans and cephalopods. Often found in schools of 20 to 30 individuals. On the Great Barrier Reef males grew faster, were significantly longer than females of a similar age, and grew larger overall size.1 Females matured at an average age of 2 years, corresponding to 19 cm FL.2 Spanish flag are a multiple spawner, spawning from October through to December, coinciding with a new moon on the Great Barrier Reef.2 This species is characterised by a long life span, slow growth and a low mortality rate. Estimated maximum age is 20 years, corresponding to 33.5 cm FL.1

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught with handlines, traps, gill nets and trawls.

Similar species:

Lutjanus boutton
Button snapper

Lutjanus boutton

Lutjanus boutton differs in having a vomerine tooth patch without medial posterior extension (vs. with); yellow stripes start on operculum (vs. yellow stripes start on cheek) and head reddish, body yellow with yellow stripes (vs. head and body silver with bright yellow stripes).

Lutjanus rufolineatus
Goldenlined snapper

Lutjanus rufolineatus

Lutjanus rufolineatus differs in having the vomerine tooth patch without medial posterior extension (vs. with); 10–12 yellow stripes on sides (vs. 8 or 9 orange stripes on side) and no black pectoral-fin axil (vs. black pectoral-fin axil).

External links:
  1. Newman SJ, Cappo M, Williams DM. Age, growth, mortality rates and corresponding yield estimates using otoliths of the tropical red snappers, Lutjanus erythropterus, L. malabaricus and L. sebae, from the central Great Barrier Reef. Fisheries Research [Internet]. 2000;48(1):1–14. Available from:
  2. Kritzer JP. Sex-specific growth and mortality, spawning season, and female maturation of the stripey bass Lutjanus carponotatus on the Great Barrier Reef. Fishery Bulletin [Internet]. 2004;102:94–107. Available from: