Pacific Chub Mackerel
- A medium-sized, slender, football-shaped fish
- A pointed head and a large mouth
- Dark blue on back, silver on the belly, mottled with small dusky blotches on the top
- A pointed dorsal fin resembling that of related species
- Southeastern Alaska to Mexico
- Most common south of Point Conception, California
- The open ocean within twenty miles of shore
- Juveniles live off of sandy beaches, in open bays, and around kelp forests
- Adults live near shallow banks, from depths of 0 to 1000 feet
- As juveniles, they feed mainly on copepods and rotifers and larval anchovies and sardines
- Sometimes even eat smaller larvae of their own kind!
- As adults, they feed on mysids and euphausids.
- Large fish, sharks, tunas, marine mammals, seabirds
- Fossils of this fish have been found in the Pliocene of Italy (from 3 to 2.2 million years ago)!
- Chub mackerel larvae can consume up to 87% of their dry body weight a day!
- They often school in large schools for defense, including with sardines and jack mackerel.
Sources: Diet of Larvae(n.d.). ulpgc.es. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from acceda.ulpgc.es/bitstream/10553/327/1/551.pdf; Paleobiology Database; NOAA Fisheries; NOAA Fishwatch
Photo: Kevin Lee
Are you a fourth through twelfth grade teacher and want your students to learn more about mackerel? Book a Fish Dissection Discovery Lab at Birch Aquarium!