One of the most abundant fish found in the Sosua Beach diving sites is the Yellow Tail Snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus), a type of Snapper native to the Western Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea ( they`re also found in Brazil ). This is a fish popular with fishermen, also in aquariums; not rated as a endangered species.
The Yellow tail snapper has a prominent yellow stripe on both sides, making it easy to identify. The back and upper sides are olive to bluish and have yellow spots. The fins are yellow and the undersides are red to yellow with longitudinal stripes.
Range and Habitat
Yellow tail snapper is native to the Caribbean Sea, the Western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico including also Brazil. It is one of the most abundant fish near the reefs in the Dominican Republic, including the North Coast and specially Sosua, which has a well known diving community.
Size and Weight
Yellow tail snapper can reach lengths of 86cm (34 inch) but most are 40cm(16 inch). The largest ever reported was 4.1kg(9.0 lb). Fishermen favor this fish for sports fishing, it also has been farmed and used widely in aquariums as a display species.
Feeding & Breeding
Yellow tails eat worms, smaller fish, cephalopods, benthic organism, crabs, and shrimp. Adults are nocturnal predators. Sexual maturity is reached at lengths of 10-12 inches(25-30cm) and life expectancy is 6-14 years. They spawn in groups offshore and off the edges of reefs from spring to fall.