Round scad

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Round scad
Decapterus punctatus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Carangiformes
Family: Carangidae
Genus: Decapterus
D. punctatus
Binomial name
Decapterus punctatus
(G. Cuvier, 1829)
  • Caranx punctatus Cuvier, 1829
  • Caranx sanctaehelenae Cuvier, 1833
  • Decapterus sanctaehelenae (Cuvier, 1833)

The round scad (Decapterus punctatus) is a species of fish in the Carangidae. It was described in 1829 by the French naturalist and zoologist, Georges Cuvier. Although the round scad is considered a good food fish,[3] it is mostly caught for use as bait.[2]


An illustration of the round scad

The round scad is a cigar-shaped fish, with greenish coloration on top and white below. Their opercles usually have a small, black spot.[4] The round scad has nine spines on its dorsal fin and 30 to 34 soft rays.[2] Their anal fins have only three spines and 26–29 soft rays.[2] Round scad often have a yellow stripe running from the head to the caudal peduncle.[5] The longest round scad recorded was 30 centimeters long,[6] which is not far from the average estimated adult length of 12 inches (30.48 cm).[5] It is claimed that the heaviest recorded specimen weighed 300 grams.[7]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Known only from the Atlantic Ocean, the round scad is known from Nova Scotia in the north[8] to Rio de Janeiro in the south, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico[2] on the western side. On the eastern side, they are known from Morocco in the north to South Africa in the south, including the islands of Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Ascension Island and St. Helena.[9]

Round scad make their home in the ocean's Neritic zone and are also common near beaches.[10] They are also known to gather near the bottom in large shoals.[11] Round scad mostly eat copepods, but have also been known to eat pteropods, ostracods, and gastropod larvae.[6]


Round scad spawn year-round in waters well offshore.[12] Their eggs float in pelagic waters before hatching.[13]


  1. ^ Smith-Vaniz, W.F.; Williams, J.T.; Pina Amargos, F.; Curtis, M. & Brown, J. (2015). "Decapterus punctatus (errata version published in 2017)". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T16439848A115358644. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T16439848A16509667.en.{{cite iucn}}: error: |doi= / |page= mismatch (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2019). "Decapterus punctatus" in FishBase. August 2019 version.
  3. ^ Cervigón, F., 1993. Los peces marinos de Venezuela. Volume 2. Fundación Científica Los Roques, Caracas,Venezuela. 497 p.
  4. ^ Smith-Vaniz, W.F., 1986. Carangidae. p. 638-661. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  5. ^ a b " entry on Round scad". Retrieved 2008-10-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b Berry, F.H. and W.F. Smith-Vaniz, 1978. Carangidae. In W. Fischer (ed.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. West Atlantic (Fishing Area 31). volume 1. FAO, Rome. [var. pag.]
  7. ^ Claro, R., 1994. Características generales de la ictiofauna. p. 55-70. In R. Claro (ed.) Ecología de los peces marinos de Cuba. Instituto de Oceanología Academia de Ciencias de Cuba and Centro de Investigaciones de Quintana Roo.
  8. ^ Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p.
  9. ^ Smith-Vaniz, W.F., J.C. Quéro and M. Desoutter, 1990. Carangidae. p. 729-755. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2.
  10. ^ Cervigón, F., R. Cipriani, W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, M. Hendrickx, A.J. Lemus, R. Márquez, J.M. Poutiers, G. Robaina and B. Rodriguez, 1992. Fichas FAO de identificación de especies para los fines de la pesca. Guía de campo de las especies comerciales marinas y de aquas salobres de la costa septentrional de Sur América. FAO, Rome. 513 p. Preparado con el financiamento de la Comisión de Comunidades Europeas y de NORAD.
  11. ^ Bianchi, G., K.E. Carpenter, J.-P. Roux, F.J. Molloy, D. Boyer and H.J. Boyer, 1993. FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of Namibia. FAO, Rome. 250 p.
  12. ^ Smith, C.L., 1997. National Audubon Society field guide to tropical marine fishes of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 720 p.
  13. ^ Smith-Vaniz, W.F., 1986. Carangidae. p. 815-844. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. vol. 2.

External links[edit]