Belize’s Yellow Tail Snapper!!!

The Yellow Tail Snapper..

The Yellow tail snapper is the “amusing” one in the snapper family.  They have lustrous bodies that are silver in color,  tinged with blue and a bright yellow mid body racing stripe leading to a yellow tail that is deeply forked.  The yellow tail snapper is very fast, they reside alone and in schools.

The grown yellow tail snapper lives in sandy areas that are 32 to 230 feet deep  near the reef  while the juveniles live in  sea grass beds that also offer them protection and food.

The adult snapper is most active at night and it feeds on crabs, shrimps, cephalopods, worms, gamete and fishes.  They have been observed feeding along with roaming bands of mixed species of fish, they would sometimes blend in with yellow goatfish feeding together.  While the goat fish seek their prey of buried invertebrates, the yellow tail snapper feeds on naive small fishes that appear not to be threatened by the goat fish.  The juvenile snapper feeds on plankton.

Reproduction in the yellow tail snapper happens all year round with peaks at different times in different places; However,  there is a general decline in reproduction during winter time.  They reproduce by releasing eggs, which contain oil droplets for buoyancy in the open water. The eggs hatch into larvae within 24 hours.  Yellow tail snapper has been observed spawning in groups.

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