Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Scomber colias, Atlantic Chub Mackerel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D1 VIII-X: 2 Ds well separated
D2 & A: 5 finlets behind
wavy oblique dark lines above many dark spots
all body: small scales

Scomber colias Gmelin, 1789

Atlantic Chub Mackerel

Body elongate, rounded; front and hind margins of eye covered by clear fatty eyelid; teeth at front and sides of roof of mouth; gill rakers shorter than gill filaments, 25-35 lower rakers; 2 well separated dorsal fins (distance between them <length of base 1st dorsal); the first dorsal triangular with VIII-X spines; second dorsal and anal fins with 12 rays, 5 finlets after second dorsal and anal fins; pectoral fins high, very short with 18-21 rays; one small flap between base of pelvic fins; tail deeply forked; 2 small keels (but no large central keel) on tail base; 1 lateral line, slightly arched at front; entire body covered with small scales; scales behind head and around pectoral fins larger and more conspicuous than those covering rest of body, but no well-developed corselet.

Generally silver, lower sides and belly silvery yellow, with many dark round blotches; back with blackish, oblique wavy lines.

Size: attains 65 cm; 2.9 kg.

Habitat: epipelagic, coastal; occurs in schools.

Depth: 0-300 m.

Warm waters of the Atlantic & Mediterranean; Nova Scotia to Argentina.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • 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
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
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 only
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • 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
  • 65
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 300