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Author: (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Diagnosis: a large species with elongate, fusiform body, slightly compressed from side to side. Gillrakers 26-34 on first arch. Large specimens have very long second dorsal and anal fins, becoming well over 20% of fork length; pectoral fins moderately long, usually reaching beyond second dorsal fin origin but not beyond end of its base, usually 22-31% of fork length. No striations on ventral surface of liver. Colour: belly frequently crossed by about 20 broken, nearly vertical lines; dorsal and anal fins, and dorsal and anal finlets bright yellow, the finlets with a narrow black border. Size: 200 cm fork length (max.), 176 kg, common to 150 cm.

Habitat: epipelagic, above and below the thermocline. Schooling, sometimes at the surface. Food: a wide variety of fishes, squids, and crustaceans. Reproduction: spawning takes place between May and September, probably concentrated in June and July. Eggs and larvae planktonic.

Distribution: regularly taken off the Canaries, Madeira, and the Azores. Appears regularly in the Bay of Spain. Apparently absent from the Mediterranean Sea. Elsewhere, pantropical.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Bellon, 1954: 67 | Marchal, 1963: 204, fig. 2-3, 4, 6 (larvae) | Zhudova, 1966 (transl. Klawe, 1970): 2, fig. 1 (larva).
Otoliths (sagitta). Fitch & Craig, 1964: 204.

Albacore (Thunnus albacares)