Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: SCOMBRIDAE, Tunas, Bonitos, Mackerels, Wahoo

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

not plain brown
blue, some with spots, bars
5-12 finlets after D2
tail base slender, with 2-3 keels



Scombrids are medium to large fishes (up to 3 m) with elongate, fusiform, sometimes moderately compressed bodies; snout pointed; sometimes a clear fatty eyelid; mouth moderately large, top jaw beak-like at front; 2, usually separated, dorsal fins that fold into grooves; 5-12 distinct finlets behind the 2nd dorsal and anal fins; pelvic fins 6 rays, under pectoral fins; tail base slender, with 2 small keels on each side, sometimes a larger keel between those; tail fin deeply forked; scales small and smooth, either covering body evenly, or only in a scaly corselet behind head; lateral line simple, complete.

The scombrids (tunas, mackerels, and bonitos) are well known fishes that form the basis of valuable commercial and recreational fisheries throughout most of the tropics and subtropics. All species are powerful swimmers and some undergo extensive annual migrations. Unlike most fishes, some tunas have body temperatures several degrees warmer than the surrounding sea

Worldwide the group contains 51 species in 15 genera. In our region 16 species from eight genera are known, six endemics, seven circumtropical species, two Indo-Pacific and one Pacific species.