Gempylus serpens  Cuvier, 1829

Snake mackerel
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Gempylus serpens   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Gempylus serpens (Snake mackerel)
Gempylus serpens
Picture by Cambraia Duarte, P.M.N. (c)ImagDOP

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Gempylidae (Snake mackerels)
Etymology: Gempylus: Greek, gempylos = a kind of fish (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Cuvier.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 600 m (Ref. 13628), usually 0 - 200 m (Ref. 89423).   Deep-water; 42°N - 40°S, 180°W - 180°E (Ref. 6181)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 50 - ? cm
Max length : 100.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6181); common length : 60.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6181)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 27 - 33; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-14; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 10 - 12; Vertebrae: 48 - 55. Body is elongated and strongly compressed. The mouth is large with fang-like teeth. There are two lateral lines, both originating below the first spine of the dorsal fin. The upper lateral line follows the dorsal contour of the body to the end of the first dorsal fin base. The lower descends gradually posterior to about the tip of the pectoral fin and runs mid-laterally. Body color is uniformly dark brown; all fins dark brown with somewhat darker margins.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas. Adults also often caught in temperate waters. Specimen caught on the Atlantic side of South Africa (33°08'S 16°47'E at 700 m) (Ref. 6193) probably strayed from the Indian Ocean.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Strictly oceanic and usually solitary (Ref. 6181). Adults migrate to the surface at night while larvae and juveniles are found near the surface during the day (Ref. 6181). Feed on fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans (Ref. 9302). Males mature at 43 cm SL, females at 50 cm (Ref. 36731). Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6766). Sold frozen, as sausages or fish cake (Ref. 9302). Not eaten raw, but cooked in any way, also dried (Ref. 7364).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Parin, Nikolay V. | Collaborators

Nakamura, I. and N.V. Parin, 1993. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 15. Snake mackerels and cutlassfishes of the world (families Gempylidae and Trichiuridae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the snake mackerels, snoeks, escolars, gemfishes, sackfishes, domine, oilfish, cutlassfishes,. scabbardfishes, hairtails, and frostfishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(15):136 p. (Ref. 6181)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; bait: occasionally
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.4   ±0.70 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Fec=300,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (58 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.