Midnight Snappers photo, taken on Elphinstone Reef

Photo copyright Tim Nicholson.
Taken on Elphinstone Reef in the Egyptian Red Sea.

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Bright yellow eyes distinguish this fish from related species.

Juveniles look very different to adults: they are black and white with blotches on their backs and stripes below. They live solitarily on protected reef slopes with feather stars, in staghorn corals or large sponges. When adult Midnight Snapper sometimes aggregate in groups and live on seaward reefs. They feed on large zooplankton at night.

In spite of the abundance of adults, the distinctive juveniles are not similarly common on coral reefs. One explanation is that the adults have a long life-span, but the survival of their larvae is seldom successful.

The Midnight Snapper is also known as the Black and White Snapper, which is confusing as the similar species Macolor niger is also sometimes known by this name.

More photos of Midnight Snapper...

Further Reading
The Underwater Photographer: Digital and Traditional Techniques, by Martin Edge, Paperback, 536 pages (2009)