Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Pomatomidae
Etymology: Pomatomus: Greek, poma, -atos = cover, operculum + Greek, tomos = portion (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 200 m (Ref. 54708). Subtropical; 45°N - 44°S, 180°W - 180°E
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 25.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 130 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 11441); common length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3482); max. published weight: 14.4 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 9 years (Ref. 6845)
(total): 8 - 9;
soft rays: 23 - 27. Jaw teeth prominent, sharp, compressed, in a single series. Two dorsal fins, the first short and low, with 7 or 8 feeble spines connected by a membrane. Back greenish, sides and belly silvery (Ref. 9860).
Circumglobal: In tropical to subtropical waters; except the eastern Pacific (Ref. 33390). Eastern Atlantic: Portugal to South Africa, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea, Madeira, and the Canary Islands. Western Atlantic: Canada and Bermuda to Argentina (Ref. 7251). Indian Ocean: along the coast of East Africa, Madagascar, southern Oman, southwest India, the Malay Peninsula, and Western Australia (Ref. 11441). Southwest Pacific: Australia except the Northern Territory, and New Zealand (Ref. 11441). Absent from eastern Pacific and northwest Pacific. Barely entering the Western Central Pacific region. Records from the Northern Territory, Australia and from Indonesia appear to be erroneous (Ref. 9860). Occurrence in Taiwan (Ref. 5193) and Hawaii (Ref. 4517) need verification.
Occur in oceanic and coastal waters (Ref. 26340). They are most common along surf beaches and rock headlands in clean, high energy waters, although adults can also be found in estuaries and into brackish water (Ref. 6492). Small fish may be found in shallow coastal waters at least 2 m depth (Ref. 9563), in schools pursuing and attacking small fishes (Ref. 9626). Adults are in loose groups, often attacking shoals of mullets or other fishes and destroying numbers apparently far in excess of feeding requirements (Ref. 9860). Feed on other fish (Ref. 5377), crustaceans and cephalopods (Ref. 47377). Associated with sharks and billfishes (Ref. 26340). Voracious and aggressive (Ref. 9626), reported to bite when handled. Migrate to warmer water during winter and to cooler water in summer (Ref. 9987). Popular game fish (Ref. 6638). Good food fish; marketed mostly fresh (Ref. 9860), but also dried or salted (Ref. 5284), and frozen (Ref. 9987).
Dooley, J.K., 1990. Pomatomidae. p. 721-722. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 27695)
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; bait: usually
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=-1.93000 (nan - nan), b=2.96 (2.86 - 3.06), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.10-0.2; tm=2; tmax=9; Fec=1 million).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (58 of 100) .