These tough-looking fish boast large canine teeth, set in their upper jaws, which are visible even when their mouths are closed. Smaller fish often fall victim to the dog snapper's powerful bite, as do shrimp, crabs, and other bottom-dwelling creatures.
Adult dog snappers prowl rocky seafloors and reefs at average depths of about 100 feet. Their turf includes the western Atlantic Ocean from Brazil to Florida and, more rarely, north to Massachusetts.
The dog snapper is a bit of a lone wolf and tends to keep to itself most of the year. All that changes in March, however, when the fish gather in large groups to reproduce at spawning sites in the northeastern Caribbean and near the island of Jamaica.
Snappers may travel