Animal Species:Dogtooth Tuna, Gymnosarda unicolor (Ruppell, 1838)

The Dogtooth Tuna has two separate dorsal fins, followed by 6-7 finlets. It has a large mouth with conical teeth in both jaws. The lateral line on the rear half of the fish is wavy. The species is brilliant blue to black above and silver below.

A Dogtooth Tuna at Rowley Shoals

Dave Harasti © Dave Harasti

Standard Common Name

Dogtooth Tuna

Identification

The Dogtooth Tuna has two separate dorsal fins, followed by 6-7 finlets. It has a large mouth with conical teeth in both jaws. The lateral line on the rear half of the fish is wavy.

The species is brilliant blue to black above and silver below.

Size range

It grows to 1.6 m in length.

Distribution

It has a wide distribution through parts of the Indian Ocean to the Central Pacific.

It is found in most Australian tropical marine waters, with the exception of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

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

Gymnosarda unicolor

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Dogtooth Tuna specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Dogtooth Tuna is pelagic offshore species that is sometimes seen cruising along coral reef dropoffs.

Economic/social impacts

It is an important commercial fish that is caught primarily with pole and line.  It is sold canned and frozen.

Classification

Species:
unicolor
Genus:
Gymnosarda
Family:
Scombridae
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. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Collette, B.B. 2001. Scombridae in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 6. Bony Fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes and marine mammals. FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-v, 3381-4218.
  4. Collette, B.B. & C.E. Nauen. 1983. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. No. 125: i-vii + 1-137.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


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Tags ichthyology, Dogtooth Tuna, Gymnosarda unicolor, pelagic, Scombridae, fishes, silver, blue, black, long and skinny, >1 m, countershaded, marine, adult,