About This Fish

Mackerel Scad

The mackerel scad (Decapterus macarellus) is a ray finned fish which belongs to the family Carangidae under Order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is distributed in Nova Scotia, Canada and Bermuda to approximately Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, St. Helena, Ascension, Cape Verde, and Gulf of Guinea, Azores and Madeira, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Seychelles, Mascarenes, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, Gulf of California and Revillagigedo Island to Ecuador. It usually lives in subtropical seas up to 400 meters in depths. It prefers clear water and is frequently found around islands.

The mackerel scad’s body is elongated, slender and somewhat fusiform. Body is black metallic bluish green above and belly is silvery while. Caudal fin is yellow-green and dorsal edge of operculum has a small black mark. The mouth is small and posterior edge of upper jaw is straight dorsally, moderately rounded and oblique ventrally. Dorsal and anal fins are followed by a separate finlets. First dorsal fin is triangular in shape with 8 spines which originates over the middle of the pectoral fin. Second dorsal fin contains 31-36 soft rays and it is separated from the first dorsal fin only by a very short space and extends back nearly to the base of the caudal fin. Anal fin is similar to its second dorsal fin in shape but it is short with 2 short stout spines and 27-30 rays and it originates about under the seventh or eighth ray of the second dorsal fin. The pelvic fin is shorter than the pectoral fin and is situated just under pectoral fin. The caudal fin is less deeply forked. Lateral line is curved with 70-84 scales and it is followed by 27-37 scutes anteriorly. It mainly feeds on planktonic invertebrates. It attains sexual maturity at the age of 2 years and it reaches up to 46 cm in length.

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