The leatherjacket fish or leather jack, Oligoplites saurus, is a species of jack in the family Carangidae. Leather jack may also refer to other members of the Carangidae, such as the pilot fish. The largest are about a foot long.
There are two subspecies of Oligoplites saurus. The nominate subspecies O.s. saurus is distributed in the western Atlantic Ocean from Chatham, Massachusetts south along the U.S. coast, throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, and along the South American coast to Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The other subspecies O. s. inornatus is found in the eastern Pacific Ocean from southern Baja California, much of the Gulf of California to Ecuador, including the Galapagos and Malpelo Islands.
It voraciously devours small fish and shrimp, often in company with larger predatory species.
Traditionally, the leather jacket has not been eaten, but recently, with large-scale farming of the fish, it has become common at market[where?]. The fish has a mild, oily taste similar to Spanish mackerel or bluefish. It has occasionally been the prey to blue swimmer crab, as juvenile fish in sea grass beds.
- Smith-Vaniz, W.F.; Williams, J.T.; Pina Amargos, F.; et al. (2019). "Oligoplites saurus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T183364A86338645. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2019). "Oligoplites saurus" in FishBase. August 2019 version.
- Eschmeyer, W. N.; R. Fricke & R. van der Laan (eds.). "Oligoplites species". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
- "Oligoplites saurus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 24 January 2006.
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