Escolar, Lepidocybium flavobrunneum Click to enlarge image
An Escolar caught on long-line at night off Hawaii in May 2004. Image: Rikard Frederiksen
© Rikard Frederiksen

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    flavobrunneum
    Genus
    Lepidocybium
    Family
    Gempylidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to over 2 m in length.

Introduction

The Escolar has a fusiform body. It is found throughout tropical and temperate seas worldwide.

Identification

The Escolar has a fusiform body, with four to six finlets behind the second dorsal and anal fins. It has a strong keel on the side of the caudal peduncle, which is flanked by a smaller keel above and below. Its upper jaw has two pairs of fangs anteriorly. The species is dark brown becoming almost black as it ages.



Distribution

The Escolar is found throughout tropical and temperate seas worldwide. In Australia it is recorded from southern Queensland around the south of the continent and up the west coast to the north-west Shelf of Western Australia.

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.



Feeding and diet

Its diet includes squids, crustaceans and other fishes.

References

  1. Nakamura, I & N.V. Parin. 1993. Snake Mackerels and Cutlassfishes of the World. An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of the Snake Mackerels, Snoeks, Escolars, Gemfishes, Sackfishes, Domine, Oilfish, Cutlassfishes, Scabbardfishes, Hairtails and Frostfishes Known to Date. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 15. FAO. Rome. Pp. 136.
  2. Yearsley, G.K, P.R. Last, & R.D. Ward. 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook: Domestic Species. CSIRO Marine Research. Pp. 461. in Nature Australia. 26(8):74.