Yellowfin Tunas, Thunnus albacares
Taxonomy Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Scombridae Thunnus albacares
Description & Behavior
Yellowfin tunas, Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788), are members of the family Scombridae which includes: albacore, bonito, mackerel and tuna. Additional scientific names (synonyms) include: Kishinoella zacalles (Jordan and Evermann, 1926), Neothunnus macropterus (Temminck and Schlegel, 1844), Neothunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788), Neothunnus catalinae (Jordan and Evermann, 1926) and Scomber albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788). Yellowfin tuna reach a total length of 2.08 m and a maximum weight of 200 kg. The average life span is 8 years. They have very long dorsal and anal fins, and moderately long pectoral fins.
Yellowfin tuna are black to dark blue in color with a yellow or silver belly. Their dorsal fin, anal fins and finlets are bright yellow.
Yellowfin tuna are extremely fast swimmers reaching speeds up to 80 kph. They are able to streamline their body for faster swimming by folding their fins into special indentations.
World Range & Habitat
Yellowfin tunas, Thunnus albacares, travel long distances. Migratory patterns have shown distances traveled from the US Pacific Coast to Japan. They are pelagic fish found from 1-250 m deep. They can be found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas with the exception of the Mediterranean Sea.
Feeding Behavior (Ecology)
The peak spawning period for yellowfin tunas, Thunnus albacares, occurs during summer months; however spawning also occurs throughout the year. Eggs are fertilized externally after mating when they are released into the water.
Conservation Status & Comments
Yellowfin tunas are a popular seafood worldwide and are therefore at continual risk of overfishing.
Yellowfin tunas, Thunnus albacares, are listed as Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:
LOWER RISK (LR) - A taxon is Lower Risk when it has been evaluated, does not satisfy the criteria for any of the categories Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. Taxa included in the Lower Risk category can be separated into three subcategories:
- Conservation Dependent (cd). Taxa which are the focus of a continuing taxon-specific or habitat-specific conservation programme targeted towards the taxon in question, the cessation of which would result in the taxon qualifying for one of the threatened categories above within a period of five years.
- Near Threatened (nt). Taxa which do not qualify for Conservation Dependent, but which are close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
- Least Concern (lc). Taxa which do not qualify for Conservation Dependent or Near Threatened.
References & Further Research
Research Thunnus albacares » Barcode of Life ~ BioOne ~ Biodiversity Heritage Library ~ CITES ~ Cornell Macaulay Library [audio / video] ~ Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) ~ ESA Online Journals ~ FishBase ~ Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department ~ GBIF ~ Google Scholar ~ ITIS ~ IUCN RedList (Threatened Status) ~ Marine Species Identification Portal ~ NCBI (PubMed, GenBank, etc.) ~ Ocean Biogeographic Information System ~ PLOS ~ SCIRIS ~ SIRIS ~ Tree of Life Web Project ~ UNEP-WCMC Species Database ~ WoRMS
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