This member of the snapper family can be found over sandy areas nearby coral reefs. It is characterized by the long tendrils that decorate its dorsal and anal fins and that shorten with age.
It feeds on fish, molluscs and crustaceans.
This rather solitary species only gathers together to spawn.
The eggs are laid in the open water, usually near fields of eelgrass, a flowering marine plant. Like most snappers, young sailfins have a different appearance from the adults. A black stripe running laterally along its body fades with adulthood, replaced by a series of blue lines.