Ichthyological Research

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 322–331 | Cite as

Age, growth, and reproductive biology of blacktail snapper, Lutjanus fulvus, around the Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa, Japan

  • Tamaki ShimoseEmail author
  • Atsushi Nanami
Full Paper


Age, growth, and reproductive characteristics of blacktail snapper, Lutjanus fulvus, which is a commercial fish species, were investigated using 322 specimens (40–332 mm in fork length) caught around the Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa, Japan. Spawning season was estimated to be from April to October, and spawning was confirmed around the full moon and the last quarter moon. Age determination using sectioned otoliths revealed that ages ranged from 0 to 34 years and the majority was ≥ 3 years. Parameters of the von Bertalanffy growth function were estimated to be L  = 270 mm, k = 0.40, and t 0  = −0.48 years for females, and 257 mm, 0.44, and −0.42 years for males. Initial growth was rapid during the first 3 years, attaining over 200 mm for both sexes, and then females grew larger than males. Sizes (ages) at the first sexual maturity were 225 mm (4 years) for females and 207 mm (3 years) for males. The wide range of age composition in catch with majority of ≥3 years old implied that the current fishing effort to harvest was not sufficiently large enough to collapse the stock immediately.


Age Blacktail snapper Growth Lunar spawning Reproduction 



The authors thank the Yaeyama Fisheries Cooperatives and Sakihara Sashimi Store for help with sample collection at the fish market, Y. Akita (Okinawa Prefectural Fisheries Research and Extension Center) and K. Yokoyama (Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium) for providing useful information, the staff of Research Center for Subtropical Fisheries for help with sample treatment and comments on this study, and the anonymous reviewers for critical review of this manuscript. The present study complies with the current laws of Japan.


  1. Akita Y, Ohta I, Ebisawa A (2011) Current status of coral reef fish fisheries in the Yaeyama Islands III. Ann Rep Pref Fish Ocean Res Cent 72:17–24Google Scholar
  2. Allen GR (1985) FAO Species Catalogue, vol. 6: Snappers of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of lutjanid species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopses No. 125. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  3. Beamish RJ, Fournier DA (1981) A method for comparing the precision of a set of age determinations. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 38:982–983Google Scholar
  4. Campana SE (2001) Accuracy, precision and quality control in age determination, including a review of the use and abuse of age validation methods. J Fish Biol 59:197–242Google Scholar
  5. Cappo M, Eden P, Newman SJ, Robertson S (2000) A new approach to tetracycline validation of the periodicity and timing of increment formation in the otoliths of 11 species of Lutjanus from the central Great Barrier Reef. Fish Bull 98:474–488Google Scholar
  6. D’Alessandro EK, Sponaugle S, Serafy JE (2010) Larval ecology of a suite of snappers (family: Lutjanidae) in the Straits of Florida, western Atlantic Ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 410:159–175Google Scholar
  7. Davis TLO, West GJ (1993) Maturation, reproductive seasonality, fecundity, and spawning frequency in Lutjanus vittus (Quoy and Gaimard) from the North West Shelf of Australia. Fish Bull 91:224–236Google Scholar
  8. Domeier ML, Colin PL (1997) Tropical reef fish spawning aggregations: defined and reviewed. Bull Mar Sci 60:698–726Google Scholar
  9. Ebisawa A (1999) Reproductive and sexual characteristics in the Pacific yellowtail emperor, Lethrinus atkinsoni, in waters off the Ryukyu Islands. Ichthyol Res 46:341–358Google Scholar
  10. Fernandes CAF, de Oliveira PGV, Travassos PEP, Hazin FHV (2012) Reproduction of the Brazilian snapper, Lutjanus alexandrei Moura & Lindeman, 2007 (Perciformes: Lutjanidae), off the northern coast of Pernambuco, Brazil. Neotrop Ichthyol 10:587–59Google Scholar
  11. Fry GC, Milton DA (2009) Age, growth and mortality estimates for populations of red snappers Lutjanus erythropterus and L. malabaricus from northern Australia and eastern Indonesia. Fish Sci 75:1219–1229 Google Scholar
  12. Fry G, Milton DA, Van Der Velde T, Stobutzki I, Andamari R, Badrudin, Sumiono B (2009) Reproductive dynamics and nursery habitat preferences of two commercially important Indo-Pacific red snappers Lutjanus erythropterus and L. malabaricus. Fish Sci 75:145–158Google Scholar
  13. Grandcourt EM, Al Abdessalaam TZ, Francis F (2006) Age, growth, mortality and reproduction of the blackspot snapper, Lutjanus fulviflamma (Forsskal, 1775), in the southern Arabian Gulf. Fish Res 78:203–210Google Scholar
  14. Grandcourt E, Al Abdessalaam TZ, Francis F, Al Shamsi A (2011) Demographic parameters and status assessments of Lutjanus ehrenbergii, Lethrinus lentjan, Plectorhinchus sordidus and Rhabdosargus sarba in the southern Arabian Gulf. J Appl Ichthyol 27:1203–1211Google Scholar
  15. Grimes CB (1987) Reproductive biology of the Lutjanidae: a review. In Polovina JJ, Ralston S (eds) Tropical Snappers, Groupers: Biology, Fisheries Management. Westview Press, USA, pp 238–294Google Scholar
  16. Hamamoto S, Kumagai S, Nosaka K, Manabe S, Iwasuki Y (1992) Reproductive behavior, eggs and larvae of a lutjanid fish, Lutjanus stellatus, observed in an aquarium. Jpn J Ichthyol 39:219–227Google Scholar
  17. Heyman WD, Kjerfve B (2008) Characterization of transient multi-species reef fish spawning aggregations at Gladden Spit, Belize. Bull Mar Sci 83:531–551Google Scholar
  18. Johannes RE (1978) Reproductive strategies of coastal marine fishes in the tropics. Environ Biol Fish 3:65–84Google Scholar
  19. Luckhurst BE, Dean JM, Reichert M (2000) Age, growth and reproduction of the lane snapper Lutjanus synagris (Pisces: Lutjanidae) at Bermuda. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 203:255–261Google Scholar
  20. Marriott RJ, Mapstone BD (2006) Geographic influences on and the accuracy and precision of age estimates for the red bass, Lutjanus bohar (Forsskal 1775): A large tropical reef fish. Fish Res 80:322–328 Google Scholar
  21. McPherson GR, Squire L, O’Brien J (1992) Reproduction of three dominant Lutjanus species of the Great Barrier Reef inter-reef fishery. Asian Fish Sci 5:15–24Google Scholar
  22. Nakamura Y, Horinouchi M, Shibuno T, Tanaka Y, Miyajima T, Koike I, Kurokura H, Sano M (2008) Evidence of ontogenetic migration from mangroves to coral reefs by black-tail snapper Lutjanus fulvus: stable isotope approach. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 355:257–266Google Scholar
  23. Nanami A, Kurihara T, Kurita Y, Aonuma Y, Suzuki N, Yamada H (2010a) Age, growth and reproduction of the humpback red snapper Lutjanus gibbus off Ishigaki Island, Okinawa. Ichthyol Res 57:240–244 Google Scholar
  24. Nanami A, Okuzawa K, Yamada H, Suzuki N, Aonuma Y (2010b) Reproductive activity in the checkered snapper, Lutjanus decussatus, off Ishigaki Island, Okinawa. Ichthyol Res 57:314–318Google Scholar
  25. Newman SJ, Cappo M, Williams DMcB (2000) Age, growth and mortality of the stripey, Lutjanus carponotatus (Richardson) and the brown-stripe snapper, L. vitta (Quoy and Gaimard) from the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fish Res 48:263–275Google Scholar
  26. Newman SJ, Skepper CL, Wakefield CB (2010) Age estimation and otolith characteristics of an unusually old, red emperor snapper (Lutjanus sebae) captured off the Kimberley coast of north-western Australia. J Appl Ichthyol 26:120–122Google Scholar
  27. Newman SJ, Williams DMcB, Russ GR (1996) Age validation, growth and mortality rates of the tropical snappers (Pisces: Lutjanidae) Lutjanus adetti (Castelnau, 1873) and L. quinquelineatus (Bloch, 1790) from the Central Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Mar Freshw Res 47:575–584Google Scholar
  28. Polovina JJ, Ralston S (eds) (1987) Tropical Snappers and Groupers: Biology and Fisheries Management. Westview Press, Boulder, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  29. Randall JE, Brock VE (1960) Observations on the ecology of epinepheline and lutjanid fishes of the Society Islands, with emphasis on food habits. Trans Am Fish Soc 89:9–16Google Scholar
  30. Sadovy de Mitcheson Y, Colin PL, Sakaue J (2012) 12.10 Lutjanus fulvus – blacktail snapper with notes on other species of Atlantic and Indo-Pacific snappers (Lutjanidae). In: Sadovy de Mitcheson Y, Colin PL (eds) Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations: Biology, Research and Management. Springer, Netherlands, pp 458–468Google Scholar
  31. Shimose T, Fujita M, Yokawa K, Saito H, Tachihara K (2009a) Reproductive biology of blue marlin Makaira nigricans around Yonaguni Island, southwestern Japan. Fish Sci 75:109–119Google Scholar
  32. Shimose T, Nanami A (2013) Quantitative analysis of distribution of Lutjanus fishes (Perciformes: Lutjanidae) by market surveys in the Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa, Japan. Pac Sci 67:15–22Google Scholar
  33. Shimose T, Tachihara K (2005) Age, growth and maturation of the blackspot snapper Lutjanus fulviflammus around Okinawa Island, Japan. Fish Sci 71:48–55Google Scholar
  34. Shimose T, Tachihara K (2006) Length frequency and fisheries assessment of the blackspot snapper Lutjanus fulviflammus landed at Okinawa Island, Japan. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 72:6–12Google Scholar
  35. Shimose T, Tanabe T, Chen KS, Hsu CC (2009b) Age determination and growth of Pacific bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis, off Japan and Taiwan. Fish Res 100:134–139Google Scholar
  36. Wilson CA, Nieland DL (2001) Age and growth of red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, from the northern Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana. Fish Bull 99:653–664Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Subtropical Fisheries, Seikai National Fisheries Research InstituteFisheries Research AgencyIshigakiJapan

Personalised recommendations