Ecology of Katsuwonus pelamis
Main Ref. Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen, 1983
Marine - Neritic
  • supra-littoral zone
  • littoral zone
  • sublittoral zone
Marine - Oceanic
  • epipelagic
  • mesopelagic
  • epipelagic
  • abyssopelagic
  • hadopelagic
  • estuaries/lagoons/brackish seas
  • mangroves
  • marshes/swamps
  • rivers/streams
  • lakes/ponds
  • caves
  • exclusively in caves
Highighted items on the list are where Katsuwonus pelamis may be found.
Remarks Aggregations of this species tend to be associated with convergence, boundaries between cold and warm water masses (i.e., the polar front), upwelling and other hydrographic discontinuities. Normally inhabit waters with surface temperatures of 20°C to 30°C (Ref. 28951). However, adults are sometimes present in waters as cold as 15°C (Ref. 168, 28950). Stay near the surface at night. School near the surface with birds, drifting objects, whales, sharks, and other tuna species and shows characteristic behaviors like jumping, feeding and foaming. Opportunistic feeders preying on any forage available. The feeding activity peaks in the early morning and in the late afternoon. Skipjack tuna also need a dissolved oxygen level of 2.5 ml per liter of sea water to maintain a minimum swimming speed, and require higher levels when active (Ref. 28952). This requirement generally restricts skipjack tuna to water above the thermocline and in some areas, such as the eastern Pacific, may exclude them from surface waters (Ref. 28952). The warm East Australian Current distributes skipjack tuna larvae into subtropical waters off eastern Australia (Ref. 28956). The larvae are generally limited to the upper 50 m of water and are most common in the sub-surface layers (Ref. 6390). Juvenile skipjack tuna less than 15 cm TL inhabit the same areas as larvae but generally move to cooler waters as they grow to maturity (Ref. 28956). There is little information on migration patterns for skipjack tuna in Australian waters. Skipjack tuna tagged in the Coral Sea, off Norfolk Island and off New South Wales have been recovered in waters off the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and New Zealand (Ref. 28959). The recapture in Australian waters of a few fish tagged in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea indicates that there could also be significant movement of skipjack tuna into the Australian Fishing Zone from the greater South Pacific (Ref. 6390).


Substrate Ref.
Special habitats
Special habitats Ref.


Associated with
Association remarks


Feeding type mainly animals (troph. 2.8 and up)
Feeding type ref Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen, 1983
Feeding habit hunting macrofauna (predator)
Feeding habit ref Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen, 1983
Trophic level(s)
Original sample Unfished population Remark
Estimation method Troph s.e. Troph s.e.
From diet composition 4.43 0.47 Troph of juv./adults from 2 studies.
Ref. Cox, S., T. Essington, J. Kitchell, S. Martell, C. Walters, C. Boggs and I. Kaplan, 2002
From individual food items 4.03 0.64 Trophic level estimated from a number of food items using a randomized resampling routine.
(e.g. 346)
(e.g. cnidaria)
Entered by Luna, Susan M. on 10.19.90
Modified by Pablico, Grace Tolentino on 07.31.08
Comments & Corrections
Sign our Guest Book 
Back to Search
cfm script by eagbayani,  ,  php script by rolavides, 2/5/2008 ,  last modified by sortiz, 6/27/17