Latin name

Pomatomus saltatrix

Other names

Blue, tailor, elf, chopper, marine piranha, rock salmon, snapper blue, snapper, Hatteras blue, skipjack (Australia), shad (South Africa); French: tassergal; Japanese: amikiri; Portuguese: anchova, enchova; Spanish: anjova, anchova de banco.


The body is long, strong, compressed, with flat belly. The mouth is large with very sharp, flattened and triangular teeth. The first dorsal fin is low and short, the second dorsal fin is long, and the anal fin has two spines and 25 to 27 soft rays. The coloration is greenish or bluish on the back and silvery on the sides; a distinctive feature is the dark spotting at the base of the pectoral fins. Most fins are dark.


Loofahs are widely distributed throughout the world in tropical and subtropical waters. They are found in pelagic waters in most of the continental shelf along eastern America (but not between southern Florida and northern South America), Africa, the Mediterranean coast and Black Seas (and during the migration between them), Southeast Asia, and Australia.


Prefers temperate and tropical waters, lives along rocky coastlines and in deep, choppy waters. Juveniles are often found in bays and estuaries. Adults migrate along coastal areas.


Bluefish can grow up to 45 inches in length and over 44 pounds in weight. They average from 11⁄2 to 2 feet and 3 pounds, although it is not uncommon for a fish to weigh about 11 pounds. The rod and reel record holder is a fish weighing 31 pounds, 12 ounces.

Life history and Behavior

Atlantic coast bluefish spawn mainly in the spring in the southern Atlantic Bay and during the summer in the Mid-Atlantic Bay. Bluefish migrate to the open sea to spawn from 2 miles offshore to the continental platform. The eggs are released and drift with plankton in surface waters, hatching about 48 hours after fertilization. Adult bluefish are commonly seen, especially when they are feeding. Along the Atlantic coast of the United States, bluefish migrate north in the spring and south in the fall.

Food and feeding habits

Adult loofahs are strong and aggressive, living in scattered groups. They are fast swimmers that prey on schools of prey fish. Depending on the area and season, they prefer menhaden and other sardine-like fish ( Clupeidae ), jacks ( Scombridae ) , weakfish ( Sciaenidae ), hogfish ( Haemulidae ), striped anchovies ( Engraulidae ), shrimp and squid. They are cannibals and can destroy private offspring. 


Spawning occurs mainly in the spring, with larvae hatching in 48 hours.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Family Pomatomidae
Genus Pomatomus
Species P. saltatrix
Conservation status Vulnerable
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years no information
Maximum body weight, kg 20
Maximum length, cm 130
Sailing speed, m/s no information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating predator

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Tags: Bluefish