Macolor niger

Black and white snapper MLN
Characteristic features:

Adults are dark grey brown dorsally grading to yellow on the head and ventrally, bluish lines and spots on head. Adults mostly dark brown to black; subadults and juveniles with black and white bands on body with only 4 or 5 white spots on black upper sides.


Up to 75 cm FL.


Indo-West Pacific and Central Pacific in tropical waters.


Coral reefs, from the surface to 90 m depth.


Feed primarily on fishes and crustaceans. Juveniles are solitary while adults occur in large schools, sometimes aggregating with Macolor macularis. In Papua New Guinea, females are thought to mature at 38 cm FL.1 Forms large spawning aggregations, larvae are pelagic and have been found well offshore. Black and white snapper are suggested to have a long life span, reaching to 40–50 years on the Great Barrier Reef.2

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught with handlines, gill nets, and traps.

Similar species:

Macolor macularis
Midnight snapper

Macolor macularis

Macolor macularis differs in having 37–42 gill rakers on the upper limb of the first gill arch (vs. 26–38); anal fin with 3 spines and usually 10, occasionally 11 soft rays (vs. 3 spines and usually 11, occasionally 10 soft rays) and pelvic fins very long and pointed in young, but short and rounded in adults (vs. short and rounded at all sizes).

External links:
  1. Longenecker K, Langston R, Bolick H, Kondio U, Mulrooney M. Six-year baseline information: size structure and reproduction of exploited reef fishes before establishing a management plan at Kamiali Wildlife Management Area, Papua New Guinea [Internet]. Bishop Museum Technical Report; 2014. Available from:
  2. Hay AC, Leis JM. The pelagic larva of the Midnight Snapper, Macolor macularis (Teleostei: Lutjanidae). Records of the Australian Museum. 2011;63(1):85–8.