Dissection of a Blue Mackerel, Scomber australasicus Click to enlarge image
Dissection of a Blue Mackerel Scomber australasicus Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    australasicus
    Genus
    Scomber
    Family
    Scombridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 65 cm in length.

Introduction

It is a schooling pelagic species that occurs in tropical and temperate marine waters of the Pacific.

Identification

The Blue Mackerel has a fusiform body with two widely separated dorsal fins. Both the second dorsal fin and anal fin are followed by five to six finlets. The eyes have adipose eyelids that leave a vertical slit over the pupils.

The species is bluish to greenish above and pale below. It has dark bars on the upper sides and spots below. Young fish have a dark pattern of reticulations on the upper sides that become less distinct as the fish ages.

Distribution

In Australia it is known from marine waters around the entire country but is more common in cooler waters.

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.



References

  1. Gomon, M.F. & E.M. Robertson. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992. Pp. 528.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.