Scomberomorus maculatus, Atlantic Spanish mackerel : fisheries, gamefish

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Scomberomorus maculatus (Mitchill, 1815)

Atlantic Spanish mackerel
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
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Scomberomorus maculatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Scomberomorus maculatus (Atlantic Spanish mackerel)
Scomberomorus maculatus
Picture by Wiggers, R.

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
Etymology: Scomberomorus: Latin, scomber = mackerel + Greek, moros = silly, stupid (Ref. 45335).  More on author: Mitchill.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 10 - 35 m (Ref. 26912).   Subtropical; 20°C - 30°C (Ref. 54882); 44°N - 19°N, 97°W - 64°W (Ref. 54882)

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

Western Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951) to Cape Cod to Miami (USA) and Gulf of Mexico coasts from Florida, USA to Yucatan, Mexico. Three species namely: Scomberomorus tritor in eastern Atlantic, Scomberomorus sierra in eastern Pacific, and Scomberomorus brasiliensis in the Caribbean and Atlantic coast of South America have often been confused with this species. Absent in the Bahamas (Ref. 26938).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 43.0, range 25 - 51.2 cm
Max length : 91.0 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); max. published weight: 5.9 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 5 years (Ref. 72462)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 17 - 19; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-20; Anal soft rays: 17 - 20; Vertebrae: 51 - 53. Interpelvic process small and bifid. Lateral line gradually curving down toward caudal peduncle. Vertebrae 21-22 precaudal plus 30-31 caudal, total 51-53. Intestine with 2 folds and 3 limbs. Swim bladder absent. Body covered with small scales. First dorsal fin black anteriorly and at distal margin posteriorly. Generally silvery with sides marked with about three rows of round to elliptical dark spots (orange in life).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Migrates in large schools over great distances along the shore. Larvae are found in surface waters between 19.6° and 29.8°C with salinities of 28.3 to 37.4 ppt. Feeds mainly on small fishes (clupeoids and anchovies), few quantities of penaeoid shrimps and cephalopods. Casting, live-bait fishing, jigging, and drift fishing are also employed in capturing this species. Aerial spotting is sometimes used in locating the fish. Marketed fresh, frozen or smoked; eaten pan-fried, broiled and baked.

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

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. (Ref. 168)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 14 September 2010

CITES (Ref. 118484)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 31172)

Human uses

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

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 22.9 - 26.8, mean 24.1 (based on 132 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00776 (0.00612 - 0.00985), b=3.01 (2.97 - 3.05), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Generation time: 3.3 (2.4 - 5.5) years. Estimated as median LN(3)/K based on 11 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.2-0.38; tm=2-3; Fec=280,000).
Prior r = 0.68, 95% CL = 0.45 - 1.02, Based on 2 stock assessments.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (39 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.