Description: Color dark brown or gray, may have a reddish tinge; broad-based triangular tooth patch on roof of mouth without a posterior extension; despite its specific name, which translates to “blue-fin,” the fins have only a slight tinge of blue; canine teeth in both jaws very strong; one pair of canines enlarged and visible even when mouth is closed.
Similar Fish: Gray snapper, L. griseus (gray snapper has anchor shaped tooth patch on roof of mouth); other snappers.
Where Found: Juveniles inshore in grass beds; adults offshore or nearshore over wrecks, reefs, and ledges.
Size: Common to 40 pounds.
Remarks: The largest of the snappers, ranging to 125 pounds; not common anywhere in its range; feeds on fishes and larger crustaceans; in the Keys, spawns during late summer.
Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles