Mangrove Jack Lutjanus argentimaculatus

Mangrove jack
Mangrove jack

Distribution - Mangrove jack inhabit coastal waters and rivers from Shark Bay in Western Australia through Torres Straight and Queensland, south to Lake Illawarra in NSW. They are occasionally found in more southern estuaries of NSW.

Size - Reaches a maximum length of approximately 1.2 metres and 16 kg in weight.

Characteristics - The colour of mangrove jack is quite distinctive, varying from bright reddish-brown to dark olive-brown. Fins have a pinkish hue, with the tail generally a darker shade. Each scale has a dark spot, which gives the appearance of cris-crossing lines on the body. Juveniles possess a blue line below the eye, which is also often evident on the adult. The mangrove jack is an extremely strong fighter and regularly finds shelter among submerged snags, making them a very challenging recreational species.

Confusing species - Mangrove jack are often confused with red bass (Lutjanus bohar) on colour alone, however, they lack the deep pit before each eye that is characteristic of the red bass.