Scomberomorus commerson (Lacep├Ęde, 1800)
Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel
photo by Patzner, R.

Family:  Scombridae (Mackerels, tunas, bonitos), subfamily: Scombrinae
Max. size:  240 cm FL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 70 kg
Environment:  pelagic-neritic; depth range 10 - 70 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and South Africa to Southeast Asia, north to China and Japan and south to southeast Australia, and to Fiji (Ref. 6390). Immigrant to the eastern Mediterranean Sea by way of the Suez Canal. Southeast Atlantic: St. Helena.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 15-18; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-20; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 16-21; Vertebrae: 42-46. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body elongate (depth 4.8-5.6 in SL), moderately strongly compressed; upper jaw reaching to posterior margin of eye or slightly beyond; teeth in jaws strong and compressed; gill rakers of first gill arch 0-2 on upper limb and 1-8 on lower limb, total 1-8; 2 dorsal fins, D1 XV-XVIII and D2 15-20, followed by 8-11 finlets; anal fin originating below midpoint of second dorsal fin, with 16-21 soft rays, followed by 7-12 finlets; lateral line abruptly bent downward below end of second dorsal fin. Colour of back iridescent blue-grey, sides silver with bluish reflections, marked with numerous thin, wavy vertical bands; number of bars increases from as few as 20 in a 40 cm specimen to as many as 65 at 150 cm; juveniles frequently spotted (Ref. 9684, 90102).

Description: Fully scaled body; large mouth, exposed maxilla on cheek and extending to below rear margin of eye; large teeth in jaws, compressed and triangular; presence of teeth in vomer and palatines (Ref. 90102); interpelvic process small and bifid. Swim bladder absent; intestine with 2 folds and 3 limbs; juveniles with large oval dark spots on body; middle third of first dorsal fin white, rest of fin black (Ref. 11228).
Biology:  A pelagic fish, inhabiting near edge of continental shelf to shallow coastal waters, often of low salinity and high turbidity (Ref. 30199, 48637); also found in drop-offs, and shallow or gently sloping reef and lagoon waters (Ref. 1602, 48637). Feed primarily on small fishes like anchovies, clupeids, carangids, also squids and penaeoid shrimps. Usually hunts solitary and often swim in shallow water along coastal slopes (Ref. 48637). Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6769). Caught mainly with drift gill nets, bamboo stake traps, midwater trawls, and by trolling. Marketed mainly fresh; also dried-salted; commonly made into fish balls (Ref. 9684), frozen, smoked, and canned (Ref. 9987). A lipid-soluble toxin, similar to ciguatoxin has been found in the flesh of specimens caught on the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Known to undertake lengthy long-shore migrations, but permanent resident populations also seem to exist.
IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened (NT); Date assessed: 05 December 2009 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 04.02.19
Checked by: Luna, Susan M. - 16.08.99

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