Katsuwonus pelamis  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Skipjack tuna
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Katsuwonus pelamis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Katsuwonus pelamis
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Scombridae (Mackerels, tunas, bonitos) > Scombrinae

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous; depth range 0 - 260 m (Ref. 9340), usually 0 - ? m (Ref. 55287).   Tropical; 15°C - 30°C (Ref. 168); 63°N - 47°S, 180°W - 180°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 40.0, range 40 - 45 cm
Max length : 110 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 89423); common length : 80.0 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 168); max. published weight: 34.5 kg (Ref. 168); max. reported age: 12 years (Ref. 168)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 14 - 16; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-15; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 14 - 15; Vertebrae: 41. Interpelvic process small and bifid. Body without scales except for the corselet and the lateral line. Swim bladder absent. The back is dark purplish blue, lower sides and belly silvery, with 4 to six very conspicuous longitudinal dark bands which in live specimens may appear as continuous lines of dark blotches.

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

Cosmopolitan in tropical and warm-temperate waters. Not found in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (Ref. 28950) and the Black Sea. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in offshore waters; larvae restricted to waters with surface temperatures of 15°C to 30°C (Ref. 6390). Exhibit a strong tendency to school in surface waters with birds, drifting objects, sharks, whales and may show a characteristic behavior like jumping, feeding, foaming, etc. Feed on fishes, crustaceans, cephalopods and mollusks; cannibalism is common. Spawn throughout the year in the tropics, eggs released in several portions (Ref. 35388). Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6769). Preyed upon by large pelagic fishes (Ref. 6885). Also taken by trolling on light tackle using plugs, spoons, feathers, or strip bait (Ref. 9684). Marketed fresh, frozen or canned (Ref. 9340); also dried-salted and smoked (Ref. 9987).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Collette, Bruce B. | Collaborators

Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen, 1983. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(2):137 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 4690)




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01230 (0.01091 - 0.01386), b=3.10 (3.06 - 3.14), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.8   ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.3-0.5; tm=2-3; tmax=12; Fec=80,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (39 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.