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Greater Amberjacks, Seriola dumerili

Greater AmberjacksGreater AmberjacksContribute Photos or VideoContribute Photos or Video

Description & Behavior

Greater amberjacks, Seriola dumerili (Risso, 1810), also known as great amberfishes, kahalas, rock salmons and allied kingfishes, are the largest of the jacks, they have a bluish gray or olive dorsal (upper) side, a silvery white belly and a dark amber stripe (variably present) from their nose to just in front of their dorsal fins. Their stripe becomes more prominent during feeding. These fish also have a distinctive dusky "mask" stretching from their upper jaw through their eyes to their first dorsal fins. Greater amberjacks usually reach about 18 kg, although specimens weighing well over three times that have been caught.

World Range & Habitat

Greater amberjacks are an offshore subtropical species most commonly associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in water between 18 and 73 m deep. In south Florida, this species may also be caught nearer the shore and they occasionally enter coastal bays. Juveniles tend to be found around floating plants or debris, sometimes in water less than 10 m deep, and often form small schools. The greater amberjack's geographic range stretches from 45°N to 28°S, and 180°W to 180°E. In the Indo-West Pacific, they are found near South Africa, in the Persian Gulf, off southern Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, south to New Caledonia and the Mariana and Caroline islands in Micronesia. In the western Atlantic, they swim in the waters off Bermuda, Nova Scotia, and Canada down to Brazil and also throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. They may also be spotted occasionally off the British coast down to Morocco and in the Mediterranean. Their distribution along the African coast is not well established, as previous spottings may actually have been Seriola carpenteri, a related species.

Feeding Behavior (Ecology)

A fast-swimming predator, greater amberjacks feed on squid, crustaceans and fish, particularly bigeye scad. Juveniles feed on planktonic decapod larvae and other small invertebrates.

Life History

Little is known about the greater amberjack's breeding habits, though they are thought to spawn offshore throughout most of the year. Females live longer than males and mature later (at five years of age rather than four).

Conservation Status & Comments

A popular game fish and a minor commercially fished species, greater amberjacks may cause ciguatera poisoning when eaten. They are also popular denizens of public aquariums.

Resilience to fishing pressure: Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years
Extinction vulnerability to fishing: Moderate to high vulnerability (54 of 100)

References & Further Research

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Diving the Kona Coast/Barry Fackler

Research Seriola dumerili » 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 ~ SIRIS ~ Tree of Life Web Project ~ UNEP-WCMC Species Database ~ WoRMS

Search for Greater Amberjacks » ARKive ~ ~ Bing ~ dmoz ~ Flickr ~ Google ~ NatureFootage ~ Picsearch ~ Wikipedia ~ Yahoo! Images ~ YouTube

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