Yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Scombroidei
Family: Scombridae


The Scombridae family of the mackerels, tunas, and bonitos includes many of the most important and familiar food fishes. The family consists of 51 species in 15 genera and two subfamilies. All species are in the subfamily Scombrinae, except the butterfly kingfish, which is the sole member of subfamily Gasterochismatinae.[1]

Scombrids have two dorsal fins and a series of finlets behind the rear dorsal fin and anal fin. The caudal fin is strongly divided and rigid, with a slender, ridged base. The first (spiny) dorsal fin and the pelvic fins are normally retracted into body grooves. Species lengths vary from the 20 cm (7.9 in) of the island mackerel to the 4.58 m (15.0 ft) recorded for the immense Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Scombrids are generally predators of the open ocean, and are found worldwide in tropical and temperate waters. They are capable of considerable speed, due to a highly streamlined body and retractable fins. Some members of the family, in particular the tunas, are notable for being partially endothermic (warm-blooded), a feature that also helps them to maintain high speed and activity. Other adaptations include a large amount of red muscle, allowing them to maintain activity over long periods. Two of the fastest recorded scombrids are the wahoo and the yellowfin tuna, which can each attain speeds of 75 km/h (47 mph).[2][3]


Jordan, Evermann and Clark (1930) divide these fishes into the four families: Cybiidae, Katsuwonidae, Scombridae, and Thunnidae,[4] but taxonomists later classified them all into a single family, the Scombridae.[5][6]

The World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London jointly issued their "Living Blue Planet Report" on 16 September 2015 which states that a dramatic fall of 74% occurred in world-wide stocks of scombridae fish between 1970 and 2010, and the global overall "population sizes of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish fell by half on average in just 40 years."[7]

The 51 extant species are in 15 genera and two subfamilies – with the subfamily Scombrinae further grouped into four tribes, as:

Family Scombridae

Timeline of genera

Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene Euthynnus Grammatorcynus Gymnosarda Thunnus Scomberomorus Scomber Wetherellus Palaeothunnus Sarda (genus) Sphyraenodus Landanichthys Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene

See also


  1. Orrell, T.M.; Collette, B.B; Johnson, G.D. (2006). "Molecular data support separate Scombroid and Xiphioid Clades" (PDF). Bulletin of Marine Science. 79 (3): 505–519. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  2. Johnson, G.D. & Gill, A.C. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 190. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
  3. Block, Barbara A.; Booth, David; Carey, Francis G. (1992). "Direct measurement of swimming speeds and depth of blue marlin" (PDF). Journal of Experimental Biology. Company of Biologists Ltd. 166: 267–284. ISSN 0022-0949. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  4. David Starr Jordan, Barton Warren Evermann and H. Walton Clark (1930). Report of the Commission for 1928. U.S. Commission for Fish and Fisheries, Washington, D.C.
  5. "Gasterochisma melampus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 18 April 2006.
  6. Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Scombridae" in FishBase. January 2006 version.
  7. .
External identifiers for Scombridae
Encyclopedia of Life 5210
ITIS 172398
NCBI 8224
WoRMS 125559
Also found in: Wikispecies
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