Mackerel Tuna, Euthynnus affinis Click to enlarge image
A Mackerel Tuna trolled near the surface, off Broome, Western Australia, October 1996. Image: B. Harvey
© B. Harvey

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    affinis
    Genus
    Euthynnus
    Family
    Scombridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 1 m in length.

Introduction

Mackerel Tuna can be recognised by the pattern of broken diagonal lines on the upper sides and two or five dark spots above the pelvic fin. The species occurs throughout the tropical and temperate Indo-West and Central Pacific Oceans.



Identification

Mackerel Tuna can be recognised by the pattern of broken diagonal lines on the upper sides and two or five dark spots above the pelvic fin.


posterior half of a Mackerel Tuna
The posterior half of a Mackerel Tuna, Euthynnus affinis, showing the broken diagonal lines on the upper side of the body. Image: B. Harvey
© B. Harvey

Habitat

The species is usually found in coastal and offshore waters.

Distribution

The species occurs throughout the tropical and temperate Indo-West and Central Pacific Oceans. In Australia the Mackerel Tuna is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and down the east coast to southern New South Wales.

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

It is a fast-swimming pelagic species that feeds on fishes, shrimps and cephalopods. It is preyed upon by marlins and sharks.

Economic impacts

It is an important commercial species in many countries.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  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.