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Author: E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817

Caranx rhonchus E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817

Diagnosis: well-developed adipose eyelid, more extensive posteriorly. Teeth in both jaws on a narrow, irregular band, widest anteriorly; outer teeth slightly enlarged. Gillrakers (including rudiments) 14-18 upper, 36-40 lower on first gill arch. Shoulder girdle (cleithrum) margin smooth, without papillae. Dorsal fin VIII + I + 28-32; anal fin II + I + 25-28; terminal ray of dorsal and anal fins consisting of a partially detached finlet joined only basally by inter-radial membrane; spinous dorsal fin and lobe of soft dorsal fin sub-equal in height. Curved lateral line with 45-55 scales and 0-3 scutes; straight lateral line with 0-8 anterior scales and 24-32 scutes; chest completely scaled. (See also note below.) Colour: lobe of soft dorsal fin with black blotch and narrow pale border distally; brownish to olive above and light olive to whitish below; narrow yellowish stripe sometimes present from head to base of caudal fin; black spot on margin of opercle near upper edge. Size: to at least 60 cm total length, common to 35 cm fork length.

Habitat: usually near the bottom in 30-50 m but reported to 200 m, also pelagic and near the surface at times: a schooling species. Food: invertebrates and small fishes. Reproduction: see family.

Distribution: Mediterranean, along the African coast from Syria to Gibraltar, and eastern Atlantic from Morocco to Senegal.

Note. Except for the absence of scute-like scales anteriorly in the curved lateral line, C. rhonchus is remarkedly similar to Trachurus both morphologically and behaviourally, and pending further study may require allocation to a separate monotypic genus.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Aboussouan, 1967: 1039, fig. 1-11.
Otoliths (sagitta). Schmidt, 1968: 30, pl. 5 (fig. 74).

False scad (Caranx rhonchus)