Latin name

Decapterus macarellus

Other names

Speedo, opelu, galunggong.


They have elongated bodies that look somewhat round when viewed from top to bottom. This species is characterised by the following features mouth valve (webbing) at symphysis of maxilla conspicuously white in adults; posterior end of maxilla straight from top, moderately rounded and conspicuously oblique anterodorsally; both jaws toothless; edge of shoulder girdle (cleithrum) with 2 small papillae, lower papillae larger; scales along lateral line curved 58-75 degrees and without shields, straight 18-39 degrees with 24-40 shields, total length of scales and shields along lateral line (excluding caudal fin scales) 110 to 138; interorbital scales usually extending beyond anterior margin of pupil.

Features of fish fins

These fish can be distinguished by a small separate fin between the dorsal and caudal fins. They have nine spines and 31-36 rays on the dorsal fins and seven spines and 27-30 rays on the anal fins. The terminal rays of the dorsal and anal fins consist of widely spaced fins; the pectoral fins are short (58 to 72% of head length), with the tips of the appressed fins falling well below the vertical line from the beginning of the second dorsal fin.

Fish colouring

In life bluish-green, white underneath; small black spot along gill margin at upper edge; caudal fin yellowish-green, dorsal fin blade sometimes darkening distally; anal and pelvic fins pale to whitish.


Western Atlantic: from Nova Scotia, Canada and Bermuda approximately to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Apparently absent from the Gulf of Mexico. Eastern Atlantic: St Helena, Ascension, Cape Verde and Gulf of Guinea islands; Azores and Madeira. Indian Ocean: Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Seychelles, Mascarene Islands, South Africa and Sri Lanka. Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California and Revillagigedo Island to Ecuador.


Marine; pelagic-oceanic; subtropical species. Usually found in depths of up to 400 metres. Prefers clear water and is often found around islands, although it can also be found on the surface. It is usually caught at depths between 40 and 200 metres. 


The largest fish recorded was 46 cm. Normal length: 30.0 cm.


Usually seen as fast moving shoals along reef edges near deep water.

Food and feeding habits

It feeds mainly on zooplankton.


The eggs are pelagic.


Fish are quite important for both commercial and sport fishing. 

Relationship with a person

A very popular fish for human consumption. It is used to make the Japanese starter kusaya, a traditional product of the Izu Islands.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Carangiformes
Family Carangidae
Genus Decapterus
Species D. macarellus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 46
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Planktonophage

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