Five-lined snapper (Lutjanus quinquelineatus)

Also known as: blue-banded sea perch, blue-banded sea-perch, blue-striped snapper, five lined snapper, fiveline snapper, five-line snapper, fivelined seaperch, five-lined seaperch, fivestripe snapper, gold-striped sea-perch, tropical snapper
Synonyms: Diacope decemlineata, Diacope spilura, Genyoroge grammica, Genyoroge notata sexlineatus, Genyoroge notata sublineata, Grammistes quinquevittatus, Holocentrus quinquelinearis, Holocentrus quinquelineatus, Lutianus quinquelineatus, Lutianus spilurus, Lutjanus spilurus
GenusLutjanus (1)
SizeMaximum length: 38 cm (2)

The five-lined snapper has not yet been classified by the IUCN.

A beautiful bright yellow fish of reefs in the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans, the five-lined snapper (Lutjanus quinquelineatus) is so named for the lines of vibrant blue that decorate the sides of its body (2). This attractive fish also has yellow fins, a round, dark blotch about the size of the eye below the long, spiny dorsal fin, and dark brown lines bordering the blue stripes (3) (4) (5). The five-lined snapper has a deep, slender body with a rather short, slightly forked tail and a steep forehead (2) (3) (6).

The five-lined snapper has a widespread distribution in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, ranging from the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman through Southeast Asia to Fiji, Australia and southern Japan (2) (3) (4).

The five-lined snapper typically occurs over coral reefs or in sheltered lagoons with a rocky bottom, between depths of 2 and 40 metres (2) (3) (7).

A gregarious species when mature, with aggregations of 100 or more fish regularly encountered in suitable habitat, young five-lined snappers are largely solitary and reside in shallow, protected bays with algae and much rubble. The timing of breeding probably varies across its range, but the five-lined snapper spawns throughout the year at New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific with a slight peak in activity between November and January. As an aggressive predator, the five-lined snapper feeds mainly on smaller fish and crustaceans (2) (3).  

While the threats to the five-lined snapper are not yet fully understood, it is an important commercial fish for artisanal fisheries across its range due to its economical value in food markets. It is commonly caught with handlines, traps and gill nets, but is also caught for sport in Australia (3). In the western Indian Ocean commercial fish stocks, such as that of the five-lined snapper, have been in decline since the late 1970s due to overfishing and habitat degradation from destructive activities such as dredging, suggesting the species may be threatened there. The five-lined snapper is possibly also vulnerable to accidental capture in lost fishing nets and traps (8).

The five-lined snapper has not been the target of any known conservation measures.

For more information on fish conservation, see:

To learn more about conservation in the United Arab Emirates visit:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. ITIS (November, 2010)
  2. FishBase – Five-line snapper (November, 2010)
  3. Allen, G.R. (1985) FAO species catalogue. Volume 6. Snappers of the world: an annotated and illustrated catalogue of lutjanid species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis, 125(6): 1-208.
  4. Australian Museum– Five-line snapper (November, 2010)
  5. Weber, M. and de Beaufort, L.F. (1922) The Fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. IV. Heteromi, Solenichthyes, Synentognathi, Percesoces, Labyrinthici, Microcyprini. E.J. Brill, Leiden.
  6. Campbell, A. and Dawes, J. (2004) Encyclopedia of Underwater Life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  7. Randall, J.E. (1994) Coastal fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.
  8. Hellyer, P. and Aspinall, S. (2005) The Emirates: A Natural History. Trident Press Limited, London.