Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Thunnus albacares, Yellowfin Tuna

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

lower body - white bars (solid & spotted)
D2 & A: very long lobes, yellow
D&A finlets yellow + black edge
gill rakers 26-34
pectoral reaches D2 (adult shorter), tip straight

Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Yellowfin Tuna

Body elongate, fusiform, moderately compressed; no fatty eyelid; teeth slender, conical; top of tongue with 2 cartilaginous ridges; 26-34 gill rakers; 2 dorsal fins, barely separated; 1st dorsal XIII-XIV; second dorsal and anal fins becoming extremely tall in large specimens, well over 20% of fork length; 8-9 finlets after dorsal and anal fins; pectoral fins moderately long, in small fish tip is wide and rounded, in fish to 110 cm fin does not reach past middle of base of 2nd dorsal fin, tip straight; short, forked bony process between pelvic fins; 1 large + 2 small keels on tail base; tail fin deeply forked; indistinct scaly corselet on front of body; small scales cover body behind corselet; lateral line complete.

Back metallic dark blue, becoming yellow to silver on sides and belly; in juveniles (< 110 cm) belly and rear body with narrow vertical white bars, alternate bars are solid and spotted; dorsal and anal fins bright yellow; dorsal and anal finlets bright yellow, with a narrow black border; tail fin yellowish grey.

Size: reaches 220 cm; all tackle world record 194.5 kg.

Habitat: oceanic pelagic.

Depth: 0-1160 m.

Worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas; Canada to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Flotsam
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Near threatened
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 220
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1160