Lutjanus johnii

Golden snapper LJH
Characteristic features:

Sides yellowish or silvery with reddish brown spot on each scale.


Up to 70 cm TL.


Indo-West Pacific in tropical waters.


Coral and rocky reefs, tolerating brackish waters in estuaries; from the surface to 80 m depth.


Feeds primarily on fishes, but also crustaceans and cephalopods. Juveniles occur in mangrove areas and estuaries1, while adults have been observed schooling in turbid waters. Females grow to larger sizes than males. Size and age of maturity estimates vary depending on latitude and ageing techniques.2 In the coastal waters of northern Australia females reached first maturity between 54.9 and 69.0 cm FL, and between 6 and 9 years. Males reached first maturity between 59.0 and 62.0 cm FL, and between 6 and 10 years.3 In northern Australia, maximum age is estimated at 28 years.2

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught mainly with handlines, bottom longlines, traps, and bottom trawls.

Similar species:

Lutjanus monostigma
Onespot snapper

Lutjanus monostigma

Lutjanus monostigma differs in having longitudinal scale rows above lateral line obliquely positioned (vs. mostly horizontal) and dusky scale markings (vs. centre of each scale often with a reddish brown spot).

Lutjanus russellii
Russell's snapper

Lutjanus russellii

Lutjanus russellii differs in having longitudinal scale rows above lateral line obliquely positioned (vs. mostly horizontal) and a vomerine tooth patch without medial posterior extension (vs. with medial posterior extension).

External links:
  1. Kiso K, Mahyam M. Distribution and feeding habits of juvenile and young John’s snapper Lutjanus johnii in the Matang mangrove estuary, west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Fisheries science [Internet]. 2003;69(3):563–8. Available from:
  2. Marriott R, Cappo M. Comparative precision and bias of five different ageing methods for the large tropical snapper Lutjanus johnii. Asian fisheries science [Internet]. 2000;13(2):149–60. Available from:
  3. Cappo M, Marriott RJ, Newman SJ. James’s rule and causes and consequences of a latitudinal cline in the demography of John’s Snapper Lutjanus johnii in coastal waters of Australia. Fishery Bulletin [Internet]. 2013;111(4):309–24. Available from: