Scomberomorus cavalla (Cuvier, 1829)
King mackerel
photo by NOAA\NMFS\Mississippi Laboratory

Family:  Scombridae (Mackerels, tunas, bonitos), subfamily: Scombrinae
Max. size:  184 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 45 kg; max. reported age: 14 years
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 5 - 140 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951) to Massachusetts, USA to São Paulo, Brazil. Eastern Central Atlantic: St. Paul's Rocks (Ref. 13121).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 12-18; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-18; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 16-20; Vertebrae: 41-43. Interpelvic process small and bifid. Swim bladder absent. Lateral line abruptly curving downward below second dorsal fin. Intestine with 2 folds and 3 limbs. Adults have no black area on the anterior part of the first dorsal fin. Juveniles with bronze spots in 5 or 6 irregular rows. Body entirely covered with scales.
Biology:  Often found in outer reef areas. Larvae are encountered in surface waters of 26.3° to 31°C and 26.9 to 35 ppt. Feeds primarily on fishes with smaller quantities of penaeid shrimps and squids. Large schools have been found to migrate over considerable distances along the Atlantic US coast, water temperature permitting. It is an important species for recreational, commercial, and artisanal fisheries throughout its range. Most of the catch is processed into steaks or sold fresh, or sometimes canned and salted. Also prepared smoked and frozen (Ref. 9987). Potentially ciguatoxic in certain areas (Ref. 9710). Sometimes called "Kingfish" (Ref. 13442).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 14 September 2010 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 11.03.04
Checked by: Agustin, Liza Q. - 23.03.94

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