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Synonyms
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  • Cybium caballa  Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1831
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  • Scomberomorus caballa  Jordan & Gilbert, 1882
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  • Scomberomorus cavalla  Meek & Newland, 1884
    FAO Names
    En - King mackerel, Fr - Thazard barré, Sp - Carite lucio.
    3Alpha Code: KGM     Taxonomic Code: 1750101506
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Cybium cavalla  Cuvier, 1829, Règne Animal, 2nd ed., 2:200 (based on Marcgrav's Guarapucu from Brazil).
    Diagnostic Features
    Gillrakers on first arch moderate: 1 to 3 on upper limb; 6 to 10 on lower limb; 7 to 13 total, usually 9 or 10.  First dorsal fin with 12 to 18 spines, usually 15; second dorsal with 15 to 18 rays, followed by 7 to 10 finlets, usually 9; anal fin with 16 to 20 rays, usually 18 or 19, followed by 7 to 10 finlets, usually 8; pectoral fin rays 21 to 23.  Lateral line abruptly curving downward below second dorsal fin.  Vertebrae 16 or 17 precaudal plus 24 to 26 caudali total 41 to 43, usually 42.  Intestine with 2 folds and 3 limbs.  Colour: sides plain silver without bars or spots, juveniles with bronze spots smaller than the pupil of the eye in five or six irregular rows. Adults have no black area on the anterior part of the first dorsal fin as have many species of Scomberomorus
    Geographical Distribution

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    Western Atlantic from Massachusetts to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Collette & Russo, 1979:fig. 9).The coastal area from Florida to Massachusetts is inhabited only during the warm months of the year.
    Habitat and Biology
    An epipelagic, neritic species, often found in outer reef areas.The larvae are encountered in surface waters of 26.3° to 31.0° C and 26.9 to 35.0 °/ooS (McEachran, Finucane & Hall, 1980).  King mackerel appear to be present throughout the year off Louisiana and off the state of Ceará in northeastern Brazil. There also seems to be some resident populations in South Florida waters, as fish are available to the recreational fishery all around the year. However, large schools of similar-sized king mackerel are found to migrate over considerable distances along the Atlantic US coast, water temperatures permitting.
    Spawning takes place from May through September in the western Gulf of Mexico, particularly in September at depths between 35 and 180 m over the middle and outer continental shelf (McEachran, Finucane & Hall, 1980), peaks in July and August in the northeastern Caribbean (Erdman, 1977), but occurs throughout the year off northeastern Brazil (Ivo, 1972). In Brazil, the fecundity of 63 to 123 cm long females ranges from 345 000 to 2 280 000 eggs (Ivo, 1974).  As in other members of the genus, food consists primarily of fishes with smaller quantities of penaeidshrimps and squids (De Vane, 1978). Clupeids such as Opisthonema, Harengula and Brevoortia are particularly important, even in juveniles of fork lengths between 10 and 31 cm (Naughton & Salomon,1981). Other fishes commonly preyed upon include jack mackerels (Carangidae), snappers (Lutjanidae), grunts (Pornadasyidae) and half-beaks (Hemiramphidae).
    Size
    Maximum size is 173 cm fork length and 45 kg weight; common to 70 cm fork length; off northeastern Brazil, length in the catches ranges mostly between 50 and 90 cm. The all-tackle angling record is a 40.8 kg fish with a fork length of 170 cm taken at Key West, Florida, in 1976. In Florida, fork length at first maturity is 73 cm in males and 84 cm in females (Beaumariage, 1973). In Brazil, females mature at about 77 cm (Ivo, 1972).
    Interest to Fisheries
    King mackerel is an important species for recreational, commercial and artisanal fisheries throughout its range.The catch reported from Fishing Area 31 totalled 7 375 t in 1981 (FAO, 1983), but is probably higher, since part of the additional 1 100 t of unclassified Scomberomorus species is likely to be S. cavalla and since reporting on the considerable recreational catch is inadequate (Manooch, 1979). It is also suspected that some of the catch reported as S. maculatus by Cuba and the Dominican Republic may in fact be S. cavalla or S. regalis . In the USA, sport fishing with hooks and lines is carried out from April to December (but mostly in spring and fall) in North Carolina, and all year round (with local seasonal peaks) in Florida. Commercial fisheries operate in the same areas, as well as off Louisiana and Mississippi. Fishing gear include hooks and lines (North Carolina), snapper hooks and line (Mississippi), gillnets (southern Florida and North Carolina), and either trolled lure or small bait in the charter boat industry (Florida). The gillnet fishery has employed power block retrieval since 1963, and aerial spotting is sometimes used (Beaumariage, 1973). King mackerel is the main Scomberomorus species of interest to the commercial fishery that extends throughout the year off northeastern Brazil (Nomura & Rodrigues, 1967). The major Brazilian fishing grounds are located some 6 to 16 miles off the coastline. Gillnets take mostly 2 to 4 year old fish (88%), whereas trolling lines catch predominantly 4 to 6 year old individuals (Alcantara Filho, 1972). Fishing is also carried out from rafts with hooks baited with thread herring.
    Most of the catch is generally processed into steaks or sold fresh (Lyles, 1969), but it has also been canned and salted (Bustos et al., 1973; Paiva & Costa, 1966) in northeastern Brazil.The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 14 728 t. The countries with the largest catches were Mexico (5 002 t) and Brazil (3 595 t).
    Local Names
    BRAZIL : Cavala .
    CUBA : Serrucho ,  Sierra .
    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC : Sierra .
    FRENCH GUAYANA : Maquereau .
    GERMANY : Konigsmakrele .
    ITALY : Sgombro reale .
    PORTUGAL : Cavala ,  Cavala inpigem ,  Cavala verdadeira .
    PUERTO RICO : Carite .
    USA : Kingfish ,  King mackerel .
    former USSR : Korolevskayamakrel .
    VENEZUELA : Carite lucio ,  Carite sierra ,  Rey .
    Source of Information
    FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of Tunas, Mackerels, Bonitos and related species known to date.Collette, B.B.  &  C.E. Nauen 1983..  FAO Fish. Synop., (125)Vol.2:137 p.
    Bibliography
    Alcantara Filho, (1972a)
    Beaumariage, (1973, Florida)
    Berrien & Finan, (1977)
    Collette, (1978, Species Identification Sheets, Western Central Atlantic)
    Manooch, Nakamura & Hall, (1978, bibliography)
    Menezes, (1969, food, Brazil)
    Nomura & Rodrigues, (1967, Brazil)
    Trent, (1981, southeastern USA)
    Ximenes, Menezes & Fonteles-Filho, (1981, length-weight relationship, Brazil)
     
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