Jack mackerels
Temporal range: Eocene to Present[1]
Japanese horse mackerel, Trachurus japonicus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Carangidae
Genus: Trachurus
Rafinesque, 1810[2]
Type species
Trachurus saurus
Rafinesque, 1810[3]

See text

Jack mackerels or saurels[2] are marine fish in the Trachurus genus of the Carangidae family. The name of the genus derives from the Greek words trachys ("rough") and oura ("tail"). Some species, such as T. murphyi, are harvested in purse seine nets, and overfishing (harvesting beyond sustainable levels) has sometimes occurred.[4]

It is often used in Japanese cuisine, where it is called aji, and in Turkish cuisine, where it is called istavrit.


The genus Trachurus was defined in 1810 by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz, who called the type species Trachurus saurus. Taxonomists later determined that T. saurus was in fact the same species as one described earlier as Scomber trachurus, defined in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus. Under the rules of binomial nomenclature, that species is now known as Trachurus trachurus, commonly known as the Atlantic horse mackerel.

The currently recognized species in this genus are:[5]


  1. Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  2. 1 2 "Trachurus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  3. "Trachurus saurus Rafinesque 1810". Universal FishWise Catalog. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  4. C.Michael Hogan. 2010. Overfishing. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. eds. Sidney Draggan and C.Cleveland. Washington DC.
  5. Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Trachurus in FishBase. February 2013 version.
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