Latin name

Trachurus trachurus

Other names

European horse mackerel, common scad.


It has a spindle-shaped, elongated body covered with fine scales, ending in a slender tail stalk. There are bony lobes along the lateral line, sometimes with spines pointing backwards. The back is bluish-grey, the belly silvery. Life expectancy is up to 9 years. 


Inhabits the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the North Sea and the western Baltic Sea. Occurs sporadically in the Black Sea.


A gregarious pelagic fish. 


The size is small, with individuals reaching a length of 70 cm and a weight of 2 kg, although smaller lengths are common. 

Life history and Behavior

Attaches to the continental shelf, sometimes penetrating into deep water. Larvae and juveniles often remain in small schools under jellyfish and between floating objects.

Food and feeding habits

Feeds on zooplankton, small fish, sometimes bottom or benthic invertebrates (shrimps).


In mid-latitude waters, they spawn in the warm season, while in the subtropics and tropics they spawn almost all year round. 

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Carangiformes
Family Carangidae
Genus Trachurus
Species T. trachurus
Conservation status Vulnerable
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 9
Maximum body weight, kg 2
Maximum length, cm 70
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Atlantic horse mackerel

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