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Author: Houttuyn, 1782

Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782

Diagnosis: first dorsal spines 8-10; space between posterior end of first dorsal fin groove and origin of second dorsal fin approximately equal in length to groove. Swimbladder present. Vertebrae 14 + 17, first haemal spine posterior to first inter-haemal process. Colour: belly usually clearly marked by broken, wavy lines or spotting in the eastern Atlantic. Size: to 50 cm fork length, common to 30 cm.

Habitat: epipelagic or mesodemersal in depths to 250-300 m. Schooling and strongly migratory. Food: small pelagic fishes such as anchovies, pilchards, sprats, and silversides; also pelagic invertebrates. Reproduction: eggs and larvae planktonic.

Distribution: eastern Atlantic from the Canaries and the Azores commonly north to the Bay of Biscay. Occasional individuals reach the southern parts of the British Isles, the Irish Sea, and the coast of Belgium. Frequent in the Mediterranean and the southern part of the Black Sea. Elsewhere, worldwide in warm and warm-temperate waters.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Ehrenbaum, 1924: 8, fig. 2a-2b (larvae) (?) | Padoa, 1956: 477, fig. 306-307 (post-larvae) (?) | Bini, 1968, 5: 32, 3 fig.
Otoliths (sagitta). Chaine, 1957: 487, pl. 3 | Other references in Weiler, 1968.

Spanish mackerel (Scomber japonicus)