Scomberomorus commerson

Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel COM
Characteristic features:

Silvery blue–grey with narrow wavy, dark vertical bars. Juveniles spotted.


Up to 245 cm TL and up to at least 44.91 kg in weight.

Important conditions and life stages:


~16.5 cm FL Juvenile *Scomberomorus commerson*
~16.5 cm FL Juvenile Scomberomorus commerson
  1. Large black oval spots on body and fewer than 20 vertical bars on body
  2. First dorsal fin black except for a white middle section equating to a third the length of fin base

Found in tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific.

View FAO distribution map


Inshore pelagic. Found on continental shelf edges, drop-offs and sloping reefs, and also shallow coastal waters and lagoons tolerating areas of high turbidity and low salinity. Found at depths from the surface to 200 m.


Feeds primarily on smaller schooling fishes such as anchovy and sardine, penaeid prawns and squid. Hunts in solitary otherwise forms small schools. Some populations undertake long shore-side migrations, while others remain as permanent residents. Age and size of maturity varies by location, size at first maturity estimates range between 70–80 cm FL in Madagascar, Fiji, India and north-eastern Australia.1, 2, 3 and as small as 55 cm for East-African populations.4 Age of first maturity is estimated at 2 years.5, 6 Maximum age estimates range between 15–22 years.5

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught primarily with drift gill nets, also with midwater trawls, bamboo steak nets and by trolling.

Similar species:

Acanthocybium solandri

Acanthocybium solandri

Acanthocybium solandri differs in having a snout long as rest of head (vs. snout much shorter than rest of head); a double emarginate caudal fin (vs. deeply forked) and no gill rakers (vs. at least 1).

Scomberomorus guttatus
Indo-Pacific king mackerel

Scomberomorus guttatus

Scomberomorus guttatus differs in having a single lateral line with small auxillary branches anteriorly (vs. no auxillary branches); lateral line mostly straight until level with second dorsal fin then gradually curving down to mid body (vs. dropping down rapidly behind the second dorsal fin); 3–4 irregular rows of small dark spots on sides (vs. narrow wavy, dark vertical bars) and 1–2 gill rakers on upper limb and 7–12 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch (8–14 total) (vs. 0–2 on upper limb and 1–8 on lower limb (1–8 total)).

External links:
  1. Devaraj M. Maturity, spawning and fecundity of the king seer, Scomberomorus commerson (Lacepede), in the seas around the Indian peninsula. Indian Journal of Fisheries. 1983;30(2):203–30.
  2. Collette BB, Russo JL. Morphology, systematics, and biology of the Spanish mackerels (Scomberomorus, Scombridae). Fishery Bulletin. 1984;82(4):545–692.
  3. McPherson GR. Age and growth of the narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson Lacepede, 1880) in North-eastern Queensland waters. Marine and Freshwater Research. 1992;43(5):1269–82.
  4. Williams F. The scombroid fishes of East Africa. Marine Biological Association of India; 1962.
  5. Mackie M, Buckworth RC, Gaughan DJ. Stock assessment of narrow-barred Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson) in Western Australia. Department of Fisheries; 2003.
  6. Grandcourt E, Al Abdessalaam T, Francis F, Al Shamsi A. Preliminary assessment of the biology and fishery for the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus commerson (Lacépède, 1800), in the southern Arabian Gulf. Fisheries Research. 2005;76(2):277–90.