Decapterus punctatus

Common Name

Round Scad

Year Described

Cuvier, 1829


Dorsal Fin: 8 spines, followed by I, 29-34 (last ray as detached finlet)
Anal Fin: 2 spines, followed by I, 25-30 (last ray as detached finlet)
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Gill Rakers: 11-16 upper, 32-44 lower
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 15 caudal

Elongate and ovoid, with a large head and moderate eye (3.4-3.9 times in HL). Snout longer than orbit diameter. Adipose eyelid well developed, covering entire eye except for a small slit over pupil. Jaw extends to anterior margin of eye. End of upper jaw concave above, rounded below. Teeth minute; in a single row in both jaws. Shoulder girdle with two small papillae, with two shallow grooves above and below them. Pectoral fins shorter than head. Spiny dorsal fin slightly higher than the anterior lobe of the second dorsal. Anterior lobe of anal fin also raised. Tail rather small and deeply forked. Dorsal accessory lateral line extends only to back of head. Main lateral line with curved anterior portion (with 37-56 scales and 0-6 scutes) extending back to the middle of the soft dorsal fin base (but shorter than in D. tabl). The straight posterior portion with 0-2 scales and 32-46 scutes. Total scales/scutes 77-98.


Bright silvery to whitish on side and belly, abruptly bluish-gray to greenish above lateral line. A narrow bronze or olive lateral stripe often present on side. Dark spot on upper opercular margin. Dark spots (1-14) at regular intervals along curved part of lateral line. All fins except caudal clear. Caudal fin yellowish. Symphysis of upper jaw dusky to transparent.


Common to 15cm FL. Maximum size to ~19cm FL


Pelagic or near the bottom from the surface to 90m. Forms large schools.


Georges Bank to SE Brazil, including Bermuda and the Caribbean islands.


Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 2003. Carangidae (pp 1426-1468). In: Carpenter. 2003. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic v. 3.