Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Rachycentron canadum, Cobia

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elongate, ~cylindrical
head pointed flat
D VI-IX separated spines + I, 26-33
grey + 2 silver stripes
teeth small

Rachycentron canadum (Linnaeus, 1766)


Body elongate, nearly cylindrical; head pointed, broad and flattened; mouth large, at front, lower jaw projecting; teeth small, simple, on jaws, roof of mouth and tongue; dorsal fin with VII-IX short, separated (not connected by membrane) spines, soft part 26-33, long, and low, slightly raised at front; anal fin like soft dorsal, I-III, 26-33; tail fin concave in adults (rounded in juveniles), upper tip longer; pectorals pointed, curved; pelvics short, inserted before pectoral base; scales small, imbedded in thick skin; lateral line a little wavy at front.

Dark brown, paler below, belly yellowish; 2 marked silvery stripes along side, 1 from eye to upper tail base, the other from pectoral base to center of tail base; fins dark.

Reaches 200 cm; 78 kg.

Pelagic in nearshore waters over mud, sand, rock and reef bottoms; also in surface layer of offshore waters as deep as 1200 m.

Depth range: 0-128 m.

Indo-W Pacific and both sides of the Atlantic; Massachusetts to Argentina.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
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
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 200
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 128