Decapterus macarellus (Cuvier, 1833)
Decapterus macarellus (Cuvier, 1833)

Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Decapterus macarellus

English Name: Mackerel scad

Creole Name: Mawan

French Name: Comète maquereau

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 9 (8 + 1); Dorsal rays: 31-37; Anal spines: 3 (2 + 1); Anal rays: 27-31;

Body elongate, slender and nearly rounded. Eye moderate, with adipose eyelid well developed, completely covering eye except for a vertical slit centred on pupil. Scales on top of head extend forward to anterior margin of pupil.  Oral valve membrane at symphysis of upper jaw conspicuously white in adults. Both jaws without teeth. Dorsal fins widely separated. Terminal dorsal and anal soft rays each consisting of a widely detached finlet. Pectoral fin short (tip falling considerably short of a vertical lines from second dorsal fin origin). Lateral line anteriorly with a low regular arch, with junction of curved and straight parts below second dorsal fin between 11th to 13th soft rays. Scales in curved part of lateral line 58 to 75; no scutes in curved part. Straight part with 18 to 36 scales, followed by 25 to 39 scutes.  

Colour. Bluish-green above, silvery below. Small black blotch on margin of opercle near upper edge. Dorsal fin lobe sometimes dark distally. Anal and pelvic fins pale to whitish. Caudal fin yellow-green.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 46cm TL, commonly to 25cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Found mainly in schools in open water, occasionally over outer reefs and frequently around islands (depth 0-400m, usually 40-200m). Feeds primarily on zooplankton. Eggs are pelagic.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in net fisheries where it is an occasional and sometimes numerous component of the catch.


Fischer, W. & G. Bianchi (eds), (1984).  FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing Area 51). Prepared and printed with the support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Rome, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, vols 1-6.

Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. 2020. FishBase. (28/05/20).

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. et al 2015. Decapterus macarellus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List 2015: e.T190117A115308983. (28/05/20).


Nevill, J.E.G. (2020). Seychelles Seatizens. Decapterus macarellus

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