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Species: Seriola zonata, Banded Rudderfish, Banded Rudderfish Amberjack

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

oblique bar: eye to D1
D VIII + I, 33-39; D2 lobe low
A base 48-63% of D2 base
juv: 6 solid bars, 3rd-5th extend onto D & A
top jaw: top bone not slender, round corner
gill rakers 20-25 small fish, 12-17 large

Seriola zonata (Mitchill, 1815)

Banded Rudderfish, Banded Rudderfish Amberjack

Elongate, fusiform, compressed; snout long, pointed; bone on top of rear of top jaw moderately broad, with rounded tip, reaching to under rear edge of eye; gill rakers (excluding rudiments) 20-25 in juveniles <10 cm FL, 12-17 in larger fish; dorsal fin VIII (last imbedded in large fish) + I, 33-39; anal rays II (reduced or completely embedded in large fish) + I, 19-21, its base much shorter than (48-63% of) soft dorsal base; soft dorsal and anal fin lobes low, height of dorsal lobe ~14% fork length); no finlets after 2nd dorsal and anal fins; pectoral short (< head length); tail base slender; grooves present on dorsal and ventral surface , but no lateral fleshy keel; tail strongly forked; lateral line with slight arch over pectoral region; no scutes (hard spiny scales) on lateral line.

Blue grey to olive above, silvery below; usually an oblique dark band from eye to origin of dorsal fin; often an amber stripe from eye along flank; dorsal fin dark, faint white edge on second fin; anal fin with white lobe and white edge, rest of fin dark; tail fin dark, narrow lighter rear border, lower tip often light or white. Juveniles (up to 20 cm) with dark stripe from eye to dorsal fin origin, plus 6 dark solid bars, 3rd-5th extend onto dorsal and anal fins.

Size: attains 78 cm, 5.2 kg.

Habitat: pelagic and near bottom over the shelf.

Depth: 3-360 m; large fish usually at 18-72 m.

Maine to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • 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
  • 78
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 360