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Species: Decapterus punctatus, Round Scad

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

1-14 dark spots on curved LL
mouth membrane not white
straight part LL : 0-2 scales + 37-56 scutes
LL branch - nape only
C amber/dusky
top jaw: end edge concave above, rounded below
1 finlet after D & A

Decapterus punctatus (Cuvier, 1829)

Round Scad

Elongate, slender, cylindrical; eye covered with adipose eyelid except for central slit; rear end of upper jaw concave, and noticeably rounded at lower rear corner; front of shoulder that meets gill chamber with 2 moderate sized papillae; gill rakers (including rudiments) 11-16+32-44; dorsal rays VIII+I, 24-29 (including detached rear finlet); anal rays II+I, 25-30 (including detached rear finlet); pectoral fin 58-72% of head length; tail base slender; tail strongly forked; lateral line with long, low arch anteriorly; scales in curved part of lateral line 37-56 + 0-6 scutes, followed on straight part by 0 (rarely 1-2) small scales, then 37-56 scutes, total scales and scutes in lateral line (excluding caudal scales) 77-98; scales on top of head usually extend forward to level of at least anterior margin of pupil; branches of lateral line extending onto nape only.

Bluish green on back, silvery below; a narrow bronze or olive stripe from snout tip to tail base; a small black blotch on top corner of operculum; membrane at front of roof of mouth clear to grey; 1-14 small black spots along curved part of lateral line in fish over ~12 cm; caudal fin amber or dusky.

Size: grows to 36 cm.

Habitat: pelagic, inshore waters, often around sandy beaches.

Depth: 0-110 m.

Found on both sides of the Atlantic; Massachusetts to southern Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Beach
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
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
  • 36
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 110