Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Gnathanodon speciosus, Golden Trevally, Golden Jack

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body deep
yellow + 7-11 dark bars
lips thick, fleshy
adults - no teeth

Gnathanodon speciosus (Forsskål, 1775)

Golden Trevally, Golden Jack

Body deep, moderately compressed; adults without teeth (juveniles with a few weak teeth on lower jaw); lips notably fat and fleshy; gill rakers (including rudiments) 19-22 + 27-30; dorsal rays VII+I, 18-20; anal rays II+I, 15-17; no finlets after 2nd dorsal and anal fins; pectoral fins longer than head; tail base slender; tail strongly forked; lateral line moderately arched, straight part with 17-24 scales followed by 17-26 scutes; body and breast covered with scales.

Silver grey, yellowish on belly, often with scattered black patches or spots on sides; all fins yellow; tips of tail black; juveniles and young adults with 7-11 black bars on body.

Size: to 120 cm.

Habitat: demersal on soft bottoms. Young act as "pilots" for sharks and other large fishes.

Depth: 0-80 m.

Tropical Indo-Pacific from east Africa to the Americas; has been collected in the locks at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, and one caught at Cuba.

Note: The Cuban record likely is due to an aquarium release at Florida.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Water column
  • Beach
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 120
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 80