Family: Scombridae (Mackerels and Tunas)
The king mackerel has a body that is elongated and very compressed laterally. Its body color is mostly iridescent blue with greenish reflections near the dorsal and silver sides. The first dorsal fin has spines and is uniformly colored with the body while the second dorsal fin is much darker and comprised of rays. Following the second dorsal are eight to nine finlets. The bottom of the king mackerel is silvery with eight to nine finlets following the anal fin. The lateral line is found just above the shoulder and quickly dips down underneath the second dorsal fin and continues a curvy trail to the tail. They typically range from 2.3kg to 16kg, with most males under ten pounds and most females above. Average lengths are from 50cm to 90cm. There are some reports that have weights in the hundred pound range and lengths over a meter and a half. Juvenile kings and or males less than 4.5kg tend to have brown and yellowish spots (similar to Spanish mackerel). The tail has a large fork and the pectoral fins are scaled (Froese and Pauly, 2011; Kells and Carpenter, 2011). (Figure 1; www.dnr.sc.gov, 2013)
Figure 1 King mackerel Scomberomorus cavalla
Western Atlantic: Maine (rarely), USA to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with heavy concentration in the Gulf of Mexico. They can be found in the coastal waters of North Carolina. Water temperature can limit their distribution with a preference of 20oC-29oC (FLMNH, 2013). (Figure 1; Froese, R. and D. Pauly, 2011)
Figure 1 Highlighted in red and yellow show the distribution and density of Scomberomorus cavalla along the eastern coast.
Kingfish are preferable to warmer waters with te...
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...nter. A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Maine to Texas. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. Print.
-Marine-Species. South Carolina Department of Resources 2013. 5 Feb. 2014
-Moyle, Peter B, and Joseph J. Cech. Fishes: An Introduction to Ichthyology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall, 1988. Print.
-Perrotta, T. King Mackerel. Florida Museum of Natural Resourses 2013. 5 Feb. 2014.
-Schaefer, Charles H., and William A. Fable. "Mark-recapture Studies off East Coast Florida."EBSCO Host (1994): n. pag. Web.
-Wall, Carrie C. "Linkages between Environmental Conditions and Recreational King Mackerel (Scomberomorus Cavalla) Catch off West-central Florida." Fisheries Oceanography (2009): . EBSCO Host. Web
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