Grass Emperor

Lethrinus Laticaudis
Grass Emperor - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Lethrinus Laticaudis
Other names Blue Lined Emperor, Blue Spotted Emperor, Brown Kelpfish, Brown Morwong, Brown Sweetlip, Coral Bream, Grass Sweetlip, Grey Sweetlip, Piggy, Red Throat, Red Finned Emperor, Snapper Bream, Squire, Sweetlips, Tricky Snapper
Size Up to 60 cm (23.6 in)
Weight Up to 5.6 kg (12 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, estuaries, seagrass beds, coral reefs
Depth Range
Grass Emperor Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Grass Emperor are a schooling fish living in both brackish and marine waters. Adults are commonly found over coral reefs, whilst juvenile fish can be found in seagrass beds and mangrove estuaries. They are common across the northern parts of Australia spanning from WA to QLD.
  • They are a popular sports fish but should not be targeted for catch and release as they suffer from barotrauma in depths of 10 m (32 ft) or greater.
  • Distinguishing feature when compared to other emperor species are the neon blue markings near its eyes and head area.
  • Grass Emperor are carnivores, feeding on smaller fish and crustaceans.
  • Estimated lifespan is around 12 years with the fish maturing between 3 & 4 years of age.
  • The main predators of the Grass Emperor include sharks and larger predatory fish.
Species Interaction

Commercial & Recreational Fishing

Grass Emperors are a highly targeted fish as they have a strong fight and are a great table fish. As the Grass Emperor is a good eating fish, it does have economic relevance and is commercially fished.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Lethrinidae

Genus: Lethrinus

Species: Lethrinus laticaudis

Conservation Status

Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)Grass Emperor are categorised as “Data Deficient” as there is not enough information on the species for proper assessment.
However, as its a fast growing species there are limited concerns of over fishing.

Fish Taste Quality

Grass Emperor are a good table fish. Often served whole or as fillets.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch
Grass Emperor

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Anchovy, Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Herring, Lures, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Soft plastics

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure, Cast lures close to structure

Popularity: Highly Targeted

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