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Species: Decapterus tabl, Redtail Scad

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

mouth membrane clear/dark
tip top jaw hooked
straight part LL: 0-8 normal scales + 31-39 scute
LL branch - nape only
edges Ds, C & pectoral: red
top jaw rear end: straight
1 finlet after D & A
edge operculum fine serrations

Decapterus tabl Berry, 1968

Redtail Scad

Elongate, slender, cylindrical; eye covered with adipose eyelid except for central slit; front tip of top jaw hooked; rear edge of upper jaw straight to (rarely) slightly concave above, with angular top corner, rounded bottom corner; front of shoulder that meets gill chamber with 2 moderate sized papillae; top and bottom of opercular edge finely serrated in large fish; gill rakers (including rudiments) 10-13+28-33; dorsal rays VIII+I, 31-37 (including detached rear finlet); anal rays II+I, 27-31 (including detached rear finlet); pectoral fin 58-72% of head length; tail base slender; tail strongly forked; lateral line with long, low arch anteriorly; 61-72 scales on curved part of lateral line then straight part with 0-8 scales followed by 31-39 scutes, total scales and scutes in lateral line (excluding caudal scales) 103-115; 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.

Greenish brown on back, silvery white below; a bright blue stripe along mid-side; snout and top jaw tinted with red; a small black spot at top corner of operculum; edges of tail fin, dorsal fins, dorsal finlets, and pectorals red; anal fin and pelvics white; membrane inside at front of roof of mouth dusky to clear.

Size: grows to 51 cm.

Habitat: pelagic, schooling, inshore, midwater to bottom.

Depth: 0-233 m.

Indo-West Pacific, Trans- Atlantic; N Carolina to Uruguary.

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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
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 51
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 233