About This Fish

Indian Mackerel

The Indian mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta) is a perch like ray fined fish which belongs to family Scombridae under order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is also known as Long-jawed Mackerel and Rake-gilled Mackerel. It is commonly found in the Indian and West Pacific oceans and its range extends from the Red Sea and East Africa in the west to Indonesia in the east and from China and the Ryukyu Islands in the north to Australia, Melanesia and Samoa in the south. It also enters the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal. The Indian mackerel is generally found in shallow, coastal waters where the surface water temperature is at least 17 °C. It is commonly found in turbid waters where plankton abundance is rich.

The horse mackerel has a fusiform body with small scales and the head is longer than the body depth. Head and body are bluish green dorsally and silvery white ventrally. It has one or two rows of small dark spots on the upper sides of the body. Caudal fin is forked and the base of caudal fin has 2 small lateral keels. It has two dorsal fins which are widely separated. First dorsal fin has 8 –11 spines and second contains 12 soft rays which are followed by 5-6 finlets. Anal fin has 12 soft rays with rudimentary spine and it is followed by 5-6 anal finlets. Pectoral fin is very short with a dark spot below the pectoral fin. First dorsal, caudal and pectoral fins are yellowish in color and the remaining fins are dusky. Adult feeds on macroplankton including the larvae of shrimp and fish while juvenile feeds on phytoplankton like diatoms and small zooplankton including cladocerans and ostracods. It attains sexual maturity at the age of 2 years. It Spawns during the period between March and September. Indian mackerel grows up to 35 cm in length and it can live up to 4 years.

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United Arab Emirates