Symphorus nematophorus

Chinamanfish SJE
Characteristic features:

Adults mainly reddish with paler vertical bars. Smaller individuals and juveniles yellowish-brown with bright blue horizontal stripes and faint dark bars on sides. Adults and juveniles without spot on caudal peduncle.


Up to 80 cm TL.


West Pacific in tropical and subtropical waters.


Coral reefs, from the surface to at least 50 m depth.


Feeds predominately on fishes. Usually solitary, but has been observed to form large schools. Age and length of maturity is estimated to be 4.8 and 49.0 cm, respectively.1Chinamanfish display a low mortality and longer lifespan2 with an estimated maximum age of 36 years.

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught mainly with handlines.

Similar species:

Symphorichthys spilurus
Sailfin snapper

Symphorichthys spilurus

Symphorichthys spilurus differs in having a very deep body (vs. moderately deep); a blunt head (vs. gently sloping); dorsal-fin soft rays forming long filaments in juveniles and adults (vs. juveniles only) and a black spot on caudal peduncle (vs. no black spot).

External links:
  1. Martinez-Andrade F. A comparison of life histories and ecological aspects among snappers (Pisces: Lutjanidae). 2003.
  2. Heupel MR, Williams AJ, Welch DJ, Davies CR, Penny A, Kritzer JP, et al. Demographic characteristics of exploited tropical lutjanids: a comparative analysis. Fishery Bulletin. 2010;108:420–32.
  3. Currey LM, Simpfendorfer CA, Williams AJ. Resilience of reef fish species on the Great Barrier Reef and in Torres Strait [Internet]. Project Milestone report to the Marine and Tropical Science Research Facility. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns (32 pp.). 2010. Available from: