SCOMBRIDAE
tunas and mackerels

  Rastrelliger kanagurta
(Cuvier, 1816)

Relevant synonyms
None

Misidentification
None

Meristic formula
D1, IX-XI; D2, 11-13+5 finlets; A, 11-12+5 finlets; P, 19-22; V, I+5

 photo : John E. Randall    

SHORT DESCRIPTION
Body elongated and fusiform moderately compressed. Two well-separated dorsal fins, each depressible into a groove. Second dorsal fin opposite anal fins, both followed by five finlets. Caudal fin forked with two small horizontal keels on its base. Pectoral and pelvic fins small. Head longer than body depth. Large mouth, maxilla extending beyond posterior margin of eye. Small conical teeth in both jaws, absent from palatine and vomer. Very long gill rakers visible when mouth closed, some of them bearing fine bristles. Eye covered by an eyelid. Entire body covered with scales.

color : blue-green back with several black spots. Flanks and belly silvery-white with 2 or 3 faint longitudinal stripes, and a black dot under the lower margin of pectoral fin.

size : common 20-25 cm (max. 35 cm).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Scomber spp.: gill rakers shorter than gill filaments; teeth present in palatine and vomer.

    Other scombrids: more than 6 dorsal and anal finlets.

    BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
    Schooling species. Planktivorous. Often observed swimming through plankton patches with open mouth. Eggs and larvae planktonic.

    habitat : pelagic in coastal waters.


  • 1st MEDITERRANEAN RECORD
    Israel, 1970.


    DISTRIBUTION
    Worldwide : wide Indo-Pacific. Red Sea, eastern Africa, southern Natal and Madagascar, to Japan, northern Australia and Samoa. Mediterranean : only two specimens have been recorded in Israel (Collette, 1970).

    ESTABLISHMENT SUCCESS
    Very rare in the Mediterranean.

    speculated reasons for success :
    -


    MODE OF INTRODUCTION
    Via the Suez Canal.


    IMPORTANCE TO HUMANS
    None in the Mediterranean. Elsewhere, commercially important throughout its range.


    KEY REFERENCES

    • Collette B.B., 1970. Rastrelliger kanagurta, another Red Sea immigrant into the Mediterranean Sea, with a key to the Mediterranean species of Scombridae. Bulletin of Sea Fisheries Research Station, Haifa, 53: 3-6.

    FEEDBACK / COMMENTS TO AUTHORS



    Last update of the species sheet:
    April 2002

    ©ciesm 2002