Scombridae

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Scombridae

[′skäm·brə‚dē]
(vertebrate zoology)
A family of perciform fishes in the suborder Scombroidei including the mackerels and tunas.

Scombridae

 

(mackerels and tunas), a family of fishes of the order Perciformes. The body is elongated, spindle-shaped, and somewhat laterally compressed. The caudal peduncle is thin with three or, less commonly, two small thin ridges on each side; there are four to nine small additional fins above and beneath the caudal peduncle. The fishes have two dorsal fins; behind the second dorsal fin and the anal fins are small additional fins. The body is covered with small scales. In some species the posterior end of the body is scaleless, and the anterior part has large scales, which form a kind of carapace. The pectoral fins are situated high up.

There are about 15 genera, distributed in the tropical, subtropical, and, to some extent, temperate seas of the world ocean. The genera most commonly found in the waters of the USSR include Scomber (including the Atlantic mackerel), Sarda (including the Atlantic bonito), and Thunnus (tunas). Less frequently encountered are species of the genera Euthunnus, Katsuwonus, Auxis, and Scomberomorus.

Mackerels and tunas are rapid swimmers. They stay at substantial depths or near the surface. Most species are commercially valuable.