The mangrove red snapper, also known as the common snapper and common snook, is a tropical marine fish native to the southern Indian Ocean and along the east coast of Australia to northern Polynesia and the southern Ryukyus in the far north. It’s name comes from its natural red color. The common snapper grows to a length of about three feet. Its body is covered with a thick red bottom, which may have white spots moving up the sides of the body. It has gray or black lines running across its upper sides.
When you look at the mangrove red snapper in the aquarium, it’s easy to see why it is so spectacular to look at. It begins with a magnificent array of stunning scale rows of light blue and green iridescent colors that spread out from its dorsal fin and ending just below the tail. These are called scale rows. Each scale row is composed of a series of upward pointing black dots, like so many insects. Individual fish of this family are known as Red Drummers.
In addition to scale rows, the mangrove red snapper has other features that set it apart from other species of this genus. One of those unique characteristics is its induced spawning. Mangroves, which are wetland areas located in floodplains and marshes along rivers, streams, or lakes, tend to be ideal locations for induced spawning. The fish produce a single egg in these areas during their reproduction season, which hatches during late summer or early fall.
Another trait the mangrove red snapper shares with other largemouth fishes is its wide distribution across Australia. The fishes are present in all the peninsulas (pipes) of the state, as well as in the islands of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. Indirectly, mangroves help sustain the biodiversity of aquatic systems through their establishment of biological corridors, aiding the migration of birds, amphibians, and plants. This is especially the case of the argentimaculatus, which travels across multiple habitats in search of food. Through this process, the introduced species can establish itself in areas not accessible by any other predators.
Male argentimaculatus fish are known for their bright, colorful fins and for the tendency to wrap around the sides of boats to cast off their long shadows. In these cases, the fish also known as Red Drummers, head to mangrove banks to spawn. When the male Red Drummers spawned, he raises his head up into the air and makes a bubble nest with several eggs. The father goes looking for his son and catches him, subsequently lifting the tiny fish into his mouth, where he feeds it with his saliva. Once full, the young escape back into the shallows.
Like most natural-occurring fisheries, mangrove red snapper populations are severely restricted, particularly in the coastal regions. Barramundi is the most common predator of this type of fish, which preys mostly on the small ones. Its preferred food fish is the grey snapper and its rarer catches are the black bull shark, big-bellied marlin, and almaco jackson. Due to being found in such close proximity to farms, this has lead to conflicts between the fisheries and local people over the right to harvest barramundi.
Although the population of mangrove red snapper has decreased due to exploitation, the abundance of this crustacean is still maintained because of its valuable role in the food chain. Mangrove crabs are also called ‘land crabs’ because of their similarity with land crabs. In fact, mangrove crabs are land crabs that live underwater instead of swimming in the water like the land crabs. Their name, however, is confusing since they are actually crustaceans and not crustaceans. This makes them distinct from other crustaceans, such as oysters, clams, molluscs, and other organisms.
There are many mangrove red snapper species found throughout the mangrove forests in Florida, but the critically endangered species occur along the coastal tracts in south Florida, namely the south barrier island, south florida broad Causeway, and south panhandle. The critically endangered barramundi is believed to be threatened or extinct in the wild. The mangrove red bream is considered by scientists to be the rarest and smallest predatory crustacean in the world. They are also called the creek red bream. This tiny shrimp, which is only 3.5 inches long, can be found dwelling in freshwater creeks and slow moving streams along the banks of rivers and mangroves.