- History and Culture
Lutjanus bohar belongs to the order of Perciformes and family of Lutjanidae (Snappers), and is commonly known as Two-spot red snapper, Bohar snapper, Kelp bream, Kelp sea perch and Twinspot red snapper amongst others.
This species has a pointed snout and rounded dorsal head profile. There is a groove that extends from the nostril to the front of the eye. There are two silvery white coloured spots on its back, hence the common names. Its overall body colour is reddish, and its fins are a darker shade. It has a yellow Iris. It has a total of 10 dorsal spines, 13 to 14 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 8 anal soft rays. It can reach a maximum length of 90cm. Juveniles are brownish and mimic damselfishes of the genus of Chromis. This characteristic trait allows them to get closer to their prey.
This species is present in the Indo-West Pacific from the Marquesas and Line islands to East Africa, and from Australia northward to the Ryukyu Islands. It is present in higher abundance around oceanic islands than near continents.
The Two-spot red snapper dwells in coral reefs, lagoons and outer reefs. It is usually seen near steep outer reef slopes, mostly solitary, but aggregate in large groups for spawning. Its recorded depth range is between 4 to 180 m.
The diet of Lutjanus bohar consists mainly of fish but also includes tunicates, shrimp, crabs, amphipods, cephalopods, crustaceans and gastropods.
According to the IUCN Red list, this species is categorized as being of ‘Least Concern’, it is common and widespread. However, over exploitation of this species is a potential threat. In certain parts of its range, it is commercially important while in other regions it is not consumed due to the risk of ciguatera poisoning. It is part of management plans throughout its distribution and it is present in many MPAs within its range. It is under a no-take restriction in Australia, under the Coral Reef Fin Fish management plan.
This species can live up to 55 years old and scientists suspect there might be individuals that are older on the Great Barrier Reef.
Large individuals may carry ciguatera toxins which leads to food poisoning, and causes neurological and cardiovascular symptoms as well, hence this fish is not consumed in certain regions.