Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Auxis thazard thazard, Frigate mackerel, Frigate tuna

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

corselet narrow under D2 (1-5 scale rows)
back: patch of lines begins under D1 & over pectoral
2Ds well separated

Auxis thazard thazard (Lacepede, 1800)

Frigate tuna, Frigate mackerel

Body elongate, rounded; no fatty eyelid; jaw teeth slender, conical; top of tongue with 2 ridges; 2 dorsal fins widely separated; 1st dorsal X-XII spines; ~8 finlets behind 2nd dorsal fin, ~7 behind anal fin; a single-pointed, long, bony process between pelvic fins; pectoral fins short, not reaching a vertical line from anterior margin of scaleless area on back; 1 large + 2 small keels on tail base; tail fin deeply forked; 1 lateral line; a well developed corselet of scales on front of body, rear extension of corselet is narrow (1-5 scales wide under 2nd dorsal fin).

Back dark bluish; a patch of 15 or more narrow, oblique to nearly horizontal dark wavy lines in scaleless area above lateral line, patch begins under 1st dorsal and over pectoral fin; belly white.

Size: to 68 cm.

Inhabits coastal and oceanic waters, sometimes forming large schools.  

Depth: 0-200 m.

Worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas except in the eastern Pacific (where it is replaced by the subspecies A. thazard brachydorax), New York to Argentina.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Near Surface
  • Mid Water
  • Water column only
  • Surface
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent
  • Extends South of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Also in Brazil
  • All species
  • GC non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 68
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 200