Animal Species:Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus (Bloch, 1793)

A schooling species that occurs in the tropical inshore waters of the open seas.

A Bigeye Scad caught off Lord Howe Island

A Bigeye Scad caught off Lord Howe Island
Photographer: Geoff Kelly © Geoff Kelly

Standard Common Name

Bigeye Scad

Alternative Name/s

The species has also been called the Purse-eye Scad.


The Bigeye Scad is bluish-green to green above grading to white below. There is black opercular spot and sometimes a yellow stripe along the side of the body. It has adipose tissue covering the eye with the exception of an oval slit positioned over the pupil. There is a deep groove in the lower margin of the gill opening, with a large papilla above it.

Size range

The species grows to about 30 cm in length.


In Australia it is known from north-westerm Western Australia around the tropical north of the country and south to northern Queensland. The fish in the image was caught at Lord Howe Island, New South Wales and thus represents a significant range extension for the species (pers. com. W. Smith-Vaniz, April 2006).

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

Selar crumenophthalmus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Bigeye Scad specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?


It is a schooling pelagic species that occurs in tropical inshore waters circumglobally.



What does this mean?


  1. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  2. Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and Shore Fishes of the South Pacific: New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. University of Hawai'i Press. Pp. 584.
  3. Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 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.

Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Bigeye S, Selar crumenophthalmus, inshore water, tropical water, marine, Purse-eye Scad, bluish-green, while underside, 10 cm - 30 cm, schooling species, 'normal fish',