Latin name

Centrolophus niger

Other names

Blackfish, black ruff, rudderfish (english); centrolophe pompile; pompile noir (french); Schwarzfisch, Schwarze Makrele, Schwarzer Deckenfisch (german); romerillo (spanish); pescada preta (portuguese).


Body oval, elongated, largely compressed at the sides. Head comparatively small with well developed seismosensory pores on bare skin. Gill covers with 2 weakly expressed soft spines; premaxilla and cheeks without scales. Scales very small and easily shed. 

Features of fish fins

Dorsal fin with 5 weak spiny rays, merging smoothly into branchial rays, beginning just posterior to the vertical of the beginning of the bases of the pectoral fins. 

Fish colouring

The body is uniformly brownish-brown, almost black. Juveniles have 2-4 vertical dark stripes on the body.


Widespread in warm seas, in the temperate waters of the North Atlantic, westward from Canada to Massachusetts (USA) and eastward, including the Mediterranean, penetrating the Northeast Atlantic from Madeira and the Azores to the North Sea. It is also found in most of the southern oceans: the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the southwest Pacific, except in the tropics.


A deep-water species that prefers depths of 40 to 1,050 metres, although it is more common at depths of 300 to 700 metres. It is found in waters far from the coast. 


Maximum length 120 cm, catches usually include individuals 45-84 cm long and weighing 1.1-7.7 kg.


Lives in the open sea. Leads a solitary life. Juveniles stay close to the surface layers, adults in the middle layers.

Food and feeding habits

Feeds on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods.


In the Mediterranean, spawning takes place in late autumn. 


It is commercially important in the North Atlantic, off the coasts of England, Scotland and Ireland. It is often found in catches off the south-west coast of Africa.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Scombriformes
Family Centrolophidae
Genus Centrolophus
Species C. niger
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 7,7
Maximum length, cm 120
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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