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Carangidae
JACKS AND POMPANOS
Jacks; Moonfishes

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Selar crumenophthalmus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Selar crumenophthalmus
Caranx caninus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Caranx caninus

Caranx caninus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Caranx caninus
Caranx sexfasciatus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Caranx sexfasciatus

Caranx vinctus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Caranx vinctus
Caranx vinctus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Caranx vinctus

Carangoides otrynter
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Carangoides otrynter
Carangoides caballus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Carangoides caballus

Carangoides otrynter
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Carangoides otrynter
Carangoides otrynter
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Carangoides otrynter

Trachinotus paitensis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Trachinotus paitensis
Trachinotus rhodopus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Trachinotus rhodopus

Trachinotus stilbe
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Trachinotus stilbe
Trachinotus paitensis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Trachinotus paitensis

Carangidae
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Carangidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • fusiform/compressed
  • 2nd dorsal fin and anal fin long bases
  • tail base slender; c: forked
  • mouth: at front, oblique
  • often large spiny scales on ll
FAMILY CARANGIDAE

JACKS, AMBERJACKS, CREVALLES, JACK-MACKERELS, LEATHERJACKETS, LOOKDOWNS, PILOT-FISHES, POMPANOS, SCADS, TREVALLIES

These fishes are generally silvery in color and exhibit a wide size range: from the scads that attain about 30 cm, to the Giant Trevally of the Indo-West Pacific (Caranx ignobilis) which grows to 170 cm and may weigh over 35 kg. Jacks are powerful midwater swimmers characterised by a streamlined shape, laterally compressed body, slender tail base, and a strongly forked tail fin. Most species have the posterior scales of the lateral line modified into spiny, plate-like structures known as scutes. The dorsal and anal fins are generally low, but often have elongated rays on their front portions. The first dorsal fin is composed of III-IX spines and the second of one spine and 18-37 soft rays. There are usually III anal spines with the first two detached from the rest of the anal fin, and usually 15-31 soft rays. One or more of the dorsal and anal spines are often tiny or embedded in some species.

Carangids are pelagic spawners that release large numbers of tiny, buoyant eggs. Judging from the widespread distribution of most species, the larvae may lead a pelagic existence for extended periods. The juveniles of several species, including the Bigeye Crevalle Jack (Caranx sexfasciatus) are sometimes encountered in brackish estuaries or in fresh water. Most of the jacks are highly esteemed as food fishes and are targeted by both sport anglers and commercial fishermen. They frequently occur in large schools that roam considerable distances. Although not strictly reef fishes, jacks are common along the edge of reefs, sometimes adjacent to steep slopes. They are voracious predators that feed on a variety of fishes. Some species such as the Golden Jack (Gnathanodon speciosus) also consume molluscs and crustaceans and the scads (genus Decapterus) eat mainly planktonic invertebrates.

The family Carangidae contains about 30 genera and approximately 140 species. Jacks are well represented in all tropical and subtropical seas. In our area there are 34 species from 16 genera, 10 are circumtropical, 4 are Indo-Pacific and one Pacific, and the remaining 19 are endemic.


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Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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