Animal Species:Cobia, Rachycentron canadum (Linnaeus, 1766)

The Cobia occurs in continental shelf waters of the tropical Atlantic and Indo-west Pacific. it is is the only species in the family Rachycentridae.

A Cobia caught at Crowdy Head

Tim Martin © Tim Martin

Standard Common Name

Cobia

Alternative Name/s

Black King, Black Kingfish, Cobe, Crab Eater, Lemon Fish, Ling, Sergeant Fish

Identification

The Cobia has an elongate body with very short dorsal fin spines. There is a dark stripe on the side of the body, below which is a pale stripe that darkens after death. The Cobia is the only species in the family Rachycentridae.

Size range

The species grows to about 2 m in length.

Distribution

The Cobia is a pelagic species that occurs in continental shelf waters of the tropical Atlantic and Indo-west Pacific. In Australia it is known from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south to the central coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Rachycentron canadum

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Cobia specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Feeding and Diet

Dietary items include mainly crustaceans, as well as smaller fishes and squid.

Classification

Species:
canadum
Genus:
Rachycentron
Family:
Rachycentridae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Collette, B.B. Rachycentridae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. 1999. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO. Rome Pp. iii-v, 2069-2790.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Cobia, Rachycentron canadum, Rachycentridae, Black King, Black Kingfish, Cobe, Crab Eater, Lemon Fish, Ling, Sergeant Fish, continental shelf, tropical water, elongate, stripes or bands, > 1m, pelagic,

2 comments

Rebecca Field - 8.02 AM, 15 February 2012

Hi newtofishing.  I can imagine that your daughter was thrilled.  The Cobia is a fast swimming fish so I suspect that there was quite a struggle.  Did you eat the fish?  Thanks for your comment. Mark (not Rebecca :)).

newtofishing - 11.02 AM, 14 February 2012
My 14yo daughter caught one of these (not a Remora- no suckers), about 30cm long, off of the jetty that faces the old boat ramps at Woodman Point near Coogee in WA. It was absolutely beautiful and made her evening- especially as she was fishing with a cheapy rod and frozen squid bait :)

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