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Decapterus macarellus (Cuvier, 1833)
Caranx macarellus Cuvier, 1833; Mackeral Scad

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Carangidae   Decapterus

Decapterus macarellus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Decapterus macarellus

Click on map for details about points.


Main identification features
  • mouth membrane white
  • straight part lateral line has 18-39 scales normal scales + 24-40 spines
  • tail fin yellow-green
  • top jaw: end edge straight
  • pectoral 58-72 percent head lenght
Body long and slender; dorsal rays VIII+I, 31-37 (including detached rear finlet); anal rays II+I, 27-31 (including detached rear finlet); gill rakers on first arch (including rudiments) 10-13 + 34-41; posterior end of upper jaw straight on upper part, angular below and behind; scales on top of head usually extend forward to at least anterior margin of pupil; lateral line with long, low arch anteriorly; scales in straight part of lateral line 18-39, followed by 24-40 scutes; total scales and scutes in lateral line (excluding caudal scales) 110-138; pectoral fin 58-72% of head length; membrane at front of roof of mouth white.

Bluish green on back, silvery below; a small black blotch on margin of gill cover near upper edge; caudal fin yellow green.

Size: grows to 44 cm.

Habitat: pelagic, mainly in oceanic waters.

Depth: 0-200 m.

Worldwide in tropical seas; in our region the tip of Baja and the mouth of the Gulf of California, Costa Rica to Panama and the offshore islands.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo).
Depth Range Max: 200 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: zooplankton; pelagic fish larvae; pelagic fish eggs.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=25; Southern limit=-2; Western limit=-115; Eastern limit=-79; Latitudinal range=27; Longitudinal range=36.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Planktivore.
FishBase Habitat: Pelagic.
Global Endemism: Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans); East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West); Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America); East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West); All Pacific (West + Central + East); TEP non-endemic; "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Water column.
Inshore Offshore: Offshore; Offshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 44 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Eastern Pacific non-endemic; Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Mid Water; Near Surface; Surface; Water column only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Allen , G.R. and Robertson, D.R., 1994., Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific., Crawford House Press Pty Ltd:1-332.
  • Allen , G.R. and Robertson, D.R., 1997., An Annotated Checklist of the fishes of Clipperton Atoll, Tropical Eastern Pacific., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 45:813-843.
  • Castro-Aguirre, J.L. and Balart, E.F., 2002., La ictiofauna de las islas Revillagigedos y sus relaciones zoogeograficas, con comentarios acerca de su origen y evolucion. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:153-170.
  • Cuvier , G. and Valenciennes, A., 1833., Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome neuvième. Suite du livre neuvième. Des Scombéroïdes., Histoire Naturelle Des Poissons, 9:1-512.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Franke , R. and Acero P., A., 1993., Peces Carangoideos del Parque Gorgona, Pacific Colombiano (Osteichthyes: Carangidae, Nemastistiidae y Coryphaenidae)., Revista de Biología Marina, Valparaiso, 28:51-73.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Gutiérrez-Sánchez, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., 2000., The distribution and affinities of the shore fishes of the Baja California Sur lagoons. In Aquatic Ecosystems of Mexico: Status and Scope. Eds. M. Manuwar, S.G. Lawrence, I.F. Manuwar & D.F. Malley. Ecovision World Monograph Series., Backhuys Publishers:383-398.
  • Humann, P., 1993., Reef Fish Identification: Galapagos., New World Publishing:192pp.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Robertson , D.R. and Allen, G.A., 1996., Zoogeography of the shorefish fauna of Clipperton Atoll., Coral Reefs, 15:121-131.
  • Vega, A.J., Villareal, N., 2003., Peces asociados a arrecifes y manglares en el Parque Nacional Coiba., Tecnociencia, 5:65-76.


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http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Decapterus&speciesname=macarellus ---> --->
Decapterus macarellus, Mackerel scad : fisheries, gamefish, bait This page is sponsored by
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Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Decapterus macarellus ( Cuvier , 1833 )

Mackerel scad Add your observation in Fish Watcher
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This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Decapterus macarellus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes( genus , species ) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Carangiformes (Jacks) > Carangidae (Jacks and pompanos) > Caranginae
Etymology: Decapterus: Greek, deka = ten + Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335 ) .
More on author: Cuvier .

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; depth range 0 - 400 m (Ref. 58302 ), usually 40 - 200 m (Ref. 3197 ). Subtropical; 54°N - 46°S, 180°W - 180°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Circumglobal. Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada and Bermuda to approximately Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Ref. 57756 ). Appears to be absent from the Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 9626 ). Eastern Atlantic: St. Helena, Ascension, Cape Verde, and Gulf of Guinea (Ref. 7097 ); Azores and Madeira (Ref. 4233 ). Indian Ocean: Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Seychelles, Mascarenes, South Africa, and Sri Lanka (Ref. 3287 ). Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California and Revillagigedo Island to Ecuador (Ref. 9283 ).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ?   range ? - ? cm
Max length : 46.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 55763 ); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 55763 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 31-37; Anal spines : 3; Anal soft rays : 27 - 31; Vertebrae : 24. This species is distinguished by the following characters: oral valve (membrane) at symphysis of upper jaw conspicuously white in adults; posterior end of upper jaw straight above, moderately rounded and noticeably slanted anteroventrally; both jaws without teeth; shoulder girdle (cleithrum) margin with 2 small papillae, the lower papilla larger; terminal dorsal- and anal-fin rays each consisting of a widely detached finlet; pectoral fins short (58 to 72% of head length), tip of appressed fins falling considerably short of a vertical line from second dorsal-fin origin; lateral line scales, curved 58-75 and without scutes, straight 18-39 with 24-40 scutes, the total scales and scutes in lateral line (excluding scales on caudal fin) 110 to 138; interorbital scales usually extending to above front margin of the pupil. Colour in life bluish green and slivery below; small black blotch on margin of opercle near upper edge; caudal fin yellow-green and dorsal fin lobe sometimes dark distally; anal and pelvic fins pale to whitish (Ref. 9894 , 11228 ).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults prefer clear oceanic waters, frequently around islands (Ref. 5217 ). Sometimes they are found near the surface, but generally caught between 40 and 200 m depth (Ref. 9283 ). Pelagic (Ref. 58302 ). Usually seen as fast moving schools along the reef edges near deep water (Ref. 48635 , 26235 ). They feed mainly on zooplankton (Ref. 9283 ). Eggs are pelagic (Ref. 4233 ). Caught with purse seines and trawls (Ref. 9894 ). Marketed fresh and salted or dried (Ref. 9283 ).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Smith-Vaniz, William F. | Collaborators

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. , 1995. Carangidae. Jureles, pámpanos, cojinúas, zapateros, cocineros, casabes, macarelas, chicharros, jorobados, medregales, pez pilota. p. 940-986. In W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9283 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983 )

  Least Concern (LC)  ; Date assessed: 20 August 2012


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 26235 )

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; bait: usually FAO - Publication: search | FIRMS - Stock assessments | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes : genus , species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome , nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go , Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201 ): 13 - 27.9, mean 21.9 °C (based on 2100 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804 ):  PD 50 = 0.5010   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01349 (0.00832 - 0.02186), b=2.99 (2.85 - 3.13), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic level (Ref. 69278 ):  4.0   ±0.2 se; based on diet studies. Generation time: 3.9 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies. Resilience (Ref. 120179 ):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.8). Prior r = 1.08, 95% CL = 0.71 - 1.62, Based on 3 stock assessments. Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Low vulnerability (23 of 100). Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   Medium . Nutrients (Ref. 124155 ):  Calcium = 472 [148, 1,769] mg/100g; Iron = 7.26 [2.38, 19.02] mg/100g; Protein = 21.3 [19.6, 23.0] %; Omega3 = 0.654 [0.270, 1.630] g/100g; Selenium = 84.1 [20.5, 289.9] μg/100g; VitaminA = 2.35 [0.40, 13.27] μg/100g; Zinc = 0.975 [0.518, 1.979] mg/100g (wet weight);

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