The mutton snapper’s prey changes throughout its life. As a larva, it feeds on plankton near the water’s surface. However, as it matures, it moves to shallow grass beds and feeds on larger plankton and small animals (2). As an adult, the mutton snapper will consume; fish, shrimp, crabs, octopus, squid and snails, and feeds both day and night (3) ‘picking’ at food items throughout the entire day (2).
The mutton snapper breeds between May and October, with a reproductive peak in July and August (4). The mutton snapper reaches sexual maturity at about five years of age, or when it grows to 40 centimetres in length, and spawning is associated with lunar cycles (6). The mutton snapper spawns throughout its geographical range, although principally in the north-eastern Caribbean (3) and typically returns to the same site to spawn year after year (2). After spawning, the adult fish move back into deeper waters (2).