Other Names: Silk Snapper, West Indian Snapper, Day Snapper, Longfin Red Snapper
Identification & Biology: The silk snapper is a beautiful melange of warm colors, shading from pink to red, with yellow stripes and reddish or yellow fins. The yellow iris identifies the silk snapper from its close relatives, the red snapper and the blackfin snapper, both of which possess a red iris. It lives in deep waters and grows to a maximum of 2.5 feet, or 76 cm. Silk snapper are found in the western Atlantic, from North Carolina to Brazil. However, they are most abundant in the Caribbean. They do not reach a large size, and most weigh less than 10 lbs.
Range & Habitat: It is found in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean as well as around Bermuda. Off Bermuda, the species is common at depths of 400-500 feet during the day and shallower waters at night. In the Bahamas, it is caught by the Gulf Stream in waters 500-800 feet deep. In studies, the smallest sexually mature silk snappers were a 9-inch female and an 11-inch male. Spawning occurs from late spring through the summer. The silk snapper feeds on crabs, shrimp and fishes.
Market Description: Marketed fresh... a great eating fish.