• Skipjack, Black

Latin name

Euthynnus lineatus

Other names

Little tuna, false albacore, spotted tuna, mackerel tuna, skipjack; Spanish: barrilete negro, bonito negro, pataseca.


The dorsal fin of these fish has 13 to 15 spines and is high in the front. This distinguishes them from bonito (Sarda), whose first dorsal fin is relatively long and low. The anal fin, which has 11 to 13 rays, is similar in size and shape to the second dorsal fin. The body is devoid of scales, except for the anterior corset and lateral line. It is the only Euthynnus species with 37 rather than 39 vertebrae. Each jaw has 20 to 40 small conical teeth. The bonito has smaller and larger conical teeth. The mackerel has flat, triangular teeth. Black skipjack differs from similar species in having four or five wide, straight, black stripes running horizontally along the back and dark spots between the pectoral and pelvic fins. In living specimens, stripes may be visible on both the belly and the back, which is why they are often confused with skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis). However, the stripes on the belly rarely remain long after death in black skipjack, while in skipjack tuna they remain visible.


This species is found in tropical and warm temperate waters of the eastern Pacific from California to northern Peru, including the Galápagos Islands, and rarely in the central Pacific.


Like other pelagic and migratory species, they occur in schools near the surface of coastal and marine waters. Occasionally, they form multi-species schools with other scombrids.


Maximum length reaches 33 inches and 20 pounds, although they are usually found weighing several pounds. The world record for catches on all tackle is a 26-pound specimen.

Life history and Behavior

No information

Food and feeding habits

Feeds mainly on small surface fish, squid, and crustaceans.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Scombriformes
Family Scombridae
Genus Euthynnus
Species E. lineatus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 11.79
Maximum length, cm 91.44
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Skipjack, Black

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