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Author: Cuvier, 1833

Decapterus macarellus Cuvier, 1833

Diagnosis: posterior end of upper jaw moderately rounded and slanting antero-ventrally, straight above; upper jaw without teeth. Gillrakers (including rudiments) 50-55 on lower limb of first gill arch. Shoulder girdle (cleithrum) margin with two low papillae: a relatively broad, blunt papilla ventrally and a smaller papilla near upper edge. Dorsal fin VIII + I + 33-37; anal fin 11 + I + 28-32; terminal ray of dorsal and anal fins noticeably separated from adjacent ray and without interradial membrane. Curved lateral line with 70-84 scales; straight lateral line with 20-36 scales anteriorly and 27-37 scutes; total scales and scutes 124-147. Colour: no small black spots on curved lateral line scales; oral valve (membrane) at symphysis of upper jaw with conspicuous white blotch; metallic blue to bluish-black above, silvery white below; small black opercular spot on edge near upper angle. Size: to about 35 cm fork length, common to 20 cm.

Habitat: mostly in open water, between 40-200 m, occasionally over outer reefs; a schooling species. Food: planktonic invertebrates. Reproduction: see family.

Distribution: one doubtful record from Mediterranean, also reported in eastern Atlantic from the Azores and Madeira. Elsewhere, in the eastern Atlantic, also known from Cape Verde, Ascension I. and St. Helena, and from Cameroon and Nigeria. A circumtropical species, especially abundant at insular localities.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Mackerel scad (Decapterus macarellus)