- Although the flesh of the almaco jack is considered quality table fare, the species has been associated with ciguatera poisoning, a seldom fatal stomach irritation.
- The almaco jack is susceptible to tapeworm parasites in the caudal peduncle area, but the meat can be eaten safely if affected portions are cut away.
One of the smaller snappers, the deep-bodied schoolmaster is brassy-yellow in color on its back. Its sides are a similar color but become paler at the belly. Additionally, the sides of the schoolmaster are marked with eight pale vertical bars, which may fade away in large adults. Similar to the dog snapper, the schoolmaster has a blue line that runs under the eye and over the gill cover. However, as the schoolmaster ages the blue line may become interrupted or disappear completely. It has a long snout and a large pointed mouth, which has a pair of enlarged canine teeth. Its lower jaw also extends slightly past the upper jaw.
The carnivorous schoolmaster feeds on crustaceans, small fish and gastropods.
Found throughout the western Atlantic Ocean as far north as Massachusetts, schoolmaster are most abundant around Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
Known as a schooling fish, the schoolmaster inhabits warm, shallow, coastal waters over coral reefs or rocks. As they age and become larger, they may seek out deeper water. Juvenile fish of this species found strictly in shallow waters, often in large resting clusters. Young schoolmaster may also enter brackish waters at times.
- A schoolmaster that has lost its stripes looks very similar to a dog snapper. However, the schoolmaster does not have a white cone-shape mark on the gill indicative of the dog snapper.
- The name schoolmaster is devised from the large schools of fish often encountered by scuba divers among shallow reefs and wrecks.