Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Scombridae
(Mackerels, tunas, bonitos) > Scombrinae
Etymology: Scomberomorus: Latin, scomber = mackerel + Greek, moros = silly, stupid (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 5 - 140 m (Ref. 36484), usually 5 - 15 m (Ref. 40849). Tropical; 44°N - 22°S, 98°W - 34°W (Ref. 54879)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 50.0, range 45 - 114 cm
Max length : 184 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710); common length : 70.0 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 168); max. published weight: 45.0 kg (Ref. 168); max. reported age: 14 years (Ref. 4949)
(total): 12 - 18;
soft rays: 16 - 20;
Vertebrae: 41 - 43. Interpelvic process small and bifid. Swim bladder absent. Lateral line abruptly curving downward below second dorsal fin. Intestine with 2 folds and 3 limbs. Adults have no black area on the anterior part of the first dorsal fin. Juveniles with bronze spots in 5 or 6 irregular rows. Body entirely covered with scales.
Western Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951) to Massachusetts, USA to São Paulo, Brazil. Eastern Central Atlantic: St. Paul's Rocks (Ref. 13121).
Often found in outer reef areas. Larvae are encountered in surface waters of 26.3° to 31°C and 26.9 to 35 ppt. Feeds primarily on fishes with smaller quantities of penaeid shrimps and squids. Large schools have been found to migrate over considerable distances along the Atlantic US coast, water temperature permitting. It is an important species for recreational, commercial, and artisanal fisheries throughout its range. Most of the catch is processed into steaks or sold fresh, or sometimes canned and salted. Also prepared smoked and frozen (Ref. 9987). Potentially ciguatoxic in certain areas (Ref. 9710). Sometimes called "Kingfish" (Ref. 13442).
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. (Ref. 168)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 9710)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00891 (0.00685 - 0.01159), b=3.02 (2.98 - 3.06), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.4 ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.07-0.15; tm=2; tmax=14; Fec=70,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (69 of 100) .