Description: Body deep, strongly compressed; color varies, but never bicolored; usually reddish, sometimes bright brick red; soft dorsal fin with a large dark spot at base; entire top of head nape purplish brown in lare males; this patch of color continuous with blackish area that extends along entire base of dorsal fin; large blackish crescent through base of caudal fin; pelvic fin with dusky tip; 14 spines in dorsal fin – first 3 elongate, bladelike; rays at front of soft dorsal and anal fins and lower lobes of caudal fin elongate; mouth very protrusible.
Young: Greenish or brownish, mottled with dark.
Size: To 91 centimeters (3 feet).
Remarks: Esteemed as a food fish in some areas, but has been implicated in ciguatera; usually marketed as Hog Snapper.
Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles