Carangids (Scads)


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Jacks, scads, trevallies, queenfishes, runners, amberjacks, pilotfishes, pampanos and etc. are the members of the Carangidae family. The family members are made up of many highly variable body shape fish species. The carangids are distinguished from all other similar families in having the first 2 anal fin spines detached from rest of fin. These spines are sometimes partially or completely embedded in large adults of several genera, especially Seriola, Alectis, and Caranx and can only be found by dissection. Most species have spiny scutes along lateral line.

The carangids are marine fishes found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. Their habitats and behaviour are highly variable. Most of them are schooling species. Most species are fast swimming predators that hunt at or near the surface, mostly in oceanic waters, and often far offshore. Some root in sand for invertebrates and fishes.

There are altogether 30 genera and 147 species in the Carangidae family worldwide. There are 19 genera and about 61 species found in Malaysia.

The family has four subfamilies, Caranginae consist of a mixtures of 20 genera and 104 species like the threadfishes, trevallies, scads, horse mackerels, moonfishes, black pomfret, and etc. Naucratinae consist of 5 genera and 13 species also with many mixtures. Trachinotinae consist of 2 genera and 21 species of mostly pompanos. Scomberoidinae consist of 3 genera and 10 species of queenfishes (leatherjackets).

This page shows the species commonly called scads and horse mackerels.


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Scientific Name: Alepes djedaba  (Forsskål, 1775)
English Name: Shrimp Scad
Local Malay Name: Ikan Selar Pelata, Pelata Keledek
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Selar Bulat
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีกุนแก้มดำ (Plā s̄īkun kæ̂m dả), ปลาจูโล้ง (Plā cū lông)
Main Identification Features: Body oblong. Adipose eyelid well developed on posterior half of eye only. A distinct black blotch on margin of opercle. Caudal fin yellowish with distally dark upper lobe.
Size: Maximum 40 cm total length, commonly below 25 cm total length.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal waters. Often form large schools. Feeds on shrimps, copepods, larvae of decapod crustaceans and small fishes.








Scientific Name: Alepes kleinii  (Bloch, 1793)
English Name: Razorbelly Scad
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pelata, Pelata Perut Nipis
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Selar Batang, Amping
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีกุนเขียว (Plā s̄īkun k̄heīyw), ปลาสีกุนใบไม้ (Plā s̄īkun bımị̂)
Main Identification Features: Body oval. Adipose eyelid well developed on posterior half of eye only. Large black spot on upper margin of opercle and adjacent area of shoulder. Caudal fin yellowish with dark fringe.
Size: Maximum fork length 16 cm, commonly to about 14 cm fork length
Habitat and Ecology: Shallow coastal waters, to 60 m depth. Form schools. Feeds primarily on planktonic crustaceans and larval fishes.








Scientific Name: Alepes melanoptera  (Swainson, 1839)
English Name: Blackfin Scad
Local Malay Name: Ikan Selar Papan, Selar Malam, Pelata Malam
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Selar Ubur-ubur, Daun Samak
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีกุนกระโดงดำ (Plā s̄īkun kradong dả)
Main Identification Features: Body oblong. Spinous dorsal fin membranes black. Adipose eyelid well developed on posterior half of eye only. A diffuse dusky blotch on margin of opercle. Upper jaw narrowly rounded posteriorly, and supramaxilla relatively small without an anterior spine-like extension. Caudal fin with dark trailing edges.
Size: Maximum fork length 21 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal and coral reefs. Form schools. Feeds primarily on small invertebrates, shrimps, and copepods.






Scientific Name: Alepes vari  (Cuvier, 1833)
English Name: Herring Scad, Trevally Scad
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pelata, Songsang Arus, Selar Papan, Pelata Bali
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Selar Papan, Amping Panjang
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีกุนหางเหยี่ยว (Plā s̄īkun h̄āng h̄eyī̀yw)
Main Identification Features: Body oblong. Caudal fin deeply forked.
Size: A relatively large species, maximum fork length 46 cm, commonly 30 cm fork length.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal waters, to 50 m depth. Often form large schools. Feeds on shrimps, copepods, decapod crustaceans, and small fishes.








Scientific Name: Atule mate  (Cuvier,1933)
English Name: Yellowtail Scad
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 色腊 (Sè là)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Selar Pelata, Selar Kuning, Selar Gelek, Selar Pucat, Temenong
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Selar Como, Selar Hijau, Hapau
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีกุนกบ (Plā s̄īkun kb)
Local Hokkien: Sek La
Main Identification Features: Body elongate oval. Body with 9 or 10 faint grey bars. Dorsal and caudal fins dusky greenish yellow. Anal fin pale yellow.
Size: Maximum fork length 20 cm, commonly to about 26 cm fork length.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal waters, to 80 m depth. Often form large schools. Feeds mainly on planktonic crustaceans throughout its life and also on clupeoid larvae.






Scientific Name: Decapterus maruadsi  (Temminck & Schlegel, 1843)
English Name: Japanese Scad, Round Scad
Local Malay Name: Ikan Selayang, Curut, Basung, Tumoh (Bajau), Teow Kheng, Selayang Mata Besar
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Layang Jepang
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาทูแขกครีบเหลือง (Plā thū k̄hæk khrīb h̄elụ̄xng)
Main Identification Features: Body very elongate and slender. Upper jaw reaching to just below front margin eye. Presence of a single finlet behind dorsal and anal fins. Small black spot on opercle edge. Body green to blue-green above, silvery white below. Dorsal, pectoral and caudal fins pale yellow.
Size: Maximum fork length about 30 cm, commonly to 20 cm fork length.
Habitat and Ecology: Shallow coastal waters, to 20 m depth. Often form large schools. Feeds primarily on smaller planktonic invertebrates.










Scientific Name: Megalaspis cordyla  (Linnaeus, 1758)
English Name: Hardtail Scad, Torpedo Scad, Finny Scad
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 硬尾 (Yìng wěi)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Cincaru, Cencaru, Caru
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Tetengkek, Selar Tengkek, Singkur, Bongkoh-bongkoh
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาหางแข็ง (Plā h̄āngk̄hæ̆ng)
Local Hokkien: Ngeh Buoy
Main Identification Features: Body elongate and subcylindrical. Caudal peduncle strongly compressed with a marked medial keel. Straight part of lateral line with 51 to 59 very large scutes.
Size: Maximum total length 80 cm, commonly to 30 to 40 cm total length.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal water, 20 to 100 m depth. Pelagic species that form large schools. Feeds primarily on fishes, crustaceans, molluscs, polychaetes and zooplankton.








Scientific Name: Selar boops  (Cuvier, 1833)
English Name: Oxeye Scad
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 大目 (Dà Mù)
Local Malay Name: Kuning Jantan, Tulai, Lecek, Lolong Kuning
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Juwi, Bengol
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีกุนทอง (Plā s̄īkun thxng)
Local Hokkien: Kun Ning
Main Identification Features: Eye very large, shorter than snout length and with a well developed adipose eyelid completely covering eye except for a vertical slit centred on pupil. A narrow, yellowish stripe may be present from edge of opercle to upper part of caudal peduncle. Scutes relatively large.
Size: Maximum fork length 25 cm, commonly to about 22 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal water, 20 to 100 m depth. Form large schools during daytime. Disperse at night to feed on planktonic and benthic invertebrates such as crabs, shrimps, foraminifers and small fishes.






Scientific Name: Selar crumenophthalmus  (Bloch, 1793)
English Name: Bigeye Scad
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 大目 (Dà Mù), 大目龙 (Dà mù lóng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Selar Bulat, Pelata Bulat, Basung, Lolong Mata Besar
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Selar Bentong, Ciu Mata Besar
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีกุนทองตาโต (Plā s̄īkun thxng tāto)
Local Hokkien: Tua Bak, Tua Bak Leng
Main Identification Features: Eye very large, shorter than snout length and with a well developed adipose eyelid completely covering eye except for a vertical slit centred on pupil. Without a detached terminal finlet. Scutes relatively small.
Size: Maximum standard length 60 cm, commonly to about 24 cm fork length.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal waters near reefs, to 170 m depth. Found in small to large schools. Feeds mostly at night on planktonic and benthic invertebrates such as crabs, shrimps, foraminifers and small fishes.








Scientific Name: Selaroides leptolepis  (Cuvier, 1833)
English Name: Yellowstripe Scad
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 金带细鲹 (Jīn dài xì shēn)
Local Malay Name: Selar Kuning, Pelata Kuning
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Selar Kuning, Ciu
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาสีกุนข้างเหลือง (Plā s̄īkun k̄ĥāng h̄elụ̄xng)
Local Hokkien: Kun Ning
Main Identification Features: Upper jaw strongly protractile with posterior end of jaw concave above, concave and produced below. Broad yellow stripe from upper margin of eye to caudal peduncle.
Size: Maximum fork length 18.5 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Estuarine and coastal soft bottoms, to 50 m depth. Form schools. Feeds on ostracods, gastropods, euphausids and small fishes.








Scientific Name: Trachurus japonicus  (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844)
English Name: Japanese Jack Mackerel, Japanese Horse Mackerel
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 日本竹筴魚 (Rìběn zhú jiá yú), 真鲹 (Zhēn shēn), 大目 (Dà Mù)
Local Malay Name: Selayang Lolong, Ikan Uji Rashid
Main Identification Features: Without detached finlet. A distinct notch on posterior margin of opercle. Black blotch on opercular margin. Dorsal and pectoral fins dusky. Caudal fin yellow. Pelvic and anal fins pale.
Size: Maximum total length 50 cm, commonly to about 35 cm total length.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal and continental waters, to 200 m depth. Form large schools. Feeds on crustaceans and small fishes.





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