Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System
Updated: 06/12/2008  

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Species Information          
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Perciformes  -  Scombridae  -  Thunnus  -  Thunnus obesus

Thunnus obesus

All Families(148) All Genera(504) All Species(1287)
large eye

body deepest under center D1
juvenile: white bars - all solid, on rear body only
C: no white border

23-31 gill rakers
pectoral: long (not past D2 in adult), tip curves down


Thunnus obesus (Lowe, 1839)

Bigeye tuna

Body elongate, fusiform, deep, deepest under center of first dorsal base, moderately compressed; eye large; no fatty eyelid; teeth slender, conical; top of tongue with 2 cartilaginous ridges; 23-31 gill rakers; 2 dorsal fins barely separated; 1st  dorsal XIII-XV; 8-9 finlets after dorsal and anal fins; pectoral fins moderately long, in fish ~ 110 cm tip is pointed down and fin reaches past 2nd  dorsal; short, forked bony process between pelvic fins; two small keels separated by large keel on tail base; well developed scaly corselet on front of body; small scales cover body behind corselet.

Back metallic dark blue, lower sides and belly whitish; a lateral iridescent blue band running along sides of live fish; fish to 110 cm with wide, continuous white bars on rear half of body, larger fish without bars; first dorsal fin yellow; second dorsal and anal fins pale yellow; finlets bright yellow, edged with black; tail dark grey, no white rear border.

Maximum size, 250 cm; all-tackle world record 197.2 Kg.

Habitat: oceanic pelagic.

Depth: 0-1500 m.

Circumglobal in tropical and temperate seas; southern California to the mouth of the Gulf of California to Chile and the oceanic islands.

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