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Author: (Walbaum, 1792)

Scomberesox saurus (Walbaum, 1792)

Diagnosis: body elongated, compressed. Caudal peduncle short, its length about equal to depth. Upper jaw greatly produced, fragile, slightly overlapped by a little more produced lower jaw. Dorsal finrays 15-18 (including 5-6 finlets); anal finrays 17-20 (including 5-7 finlets); pectoral finrays 12-15; procurrent caudal finrays 5-7. Gillrakers 34-45 on first arch. Lateral line extending backwards to over anal finlets. Seales along lateral midline 107-128, predorsal seales 75-87. Vertebrae 64-70. Ovaries paired, bilateral. Swimbladder large, thin-walled. Colour: iridescent blue above, silvery below. Size: to 45 em (max.); mature at about 25 em.

Habitat: oceanic, epipelagic (usually in very upper layers). Food: zooplankton, fish larvae. Reproduction: eggs pelagie. Commercial importance: object of limited fisheries in Spain.

Distribution: in the Mediterranean and in the North Atlantic between 30° and 45° lat. Occasional stragglers as far north as White and Barents Seas. Elsewhere, circumglobal in temperate and subtropical waters of southern hemisphere.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. D'Ancona, 1931:161-164, pl. 8 (fig. 9-14), pl. 9 (fig. 13-19) | Ehrenbaum, 1936: 74, fig. 50 | Sanzo, 1940: 3-6, fig. 1-8 | Orton, 1964: 145-148.
Otoliths (sagitta). Frost, 1926: 472, pl. 20 (fig. 25) | Bauzá-Rullán, 1957: 33, pl. 1 (fig. 1 4).

Subspecies

Scomberesox saurus saurus: gillrakers on first arch 34-45, mean 39.2. Mediterranean and North Atlantic.

Scomberesox saurus scombroides (Richardson, 1842): gillrakers on first arch 39-51, mean 44.1. Southern hemisphere.

Skipper, saurie (Scomberesox saurus)