Decapterus tabl

Common Name

Redtail Scad

Year Described

Berry, 1968


Dorsal Fin: 8 spines, followed by I, 29-34 (last ray as detached finlet)
Anal Fin: 2 spines, followed by I, 24-27 (last ray as detached finlet)
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Gill Rakers: 10-12 upper, 30-33 lower
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 14 caudal

Elongate and ovoid, with a large head and moderate eye (3.8-4.8 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 straight above, slightly concave below. Teeth minute; in a single row in both jaws. Upper operculum margin with minute serrations. 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 small and deeply forked. Dorsal accessory lateral line extends only to back of head. Main lateral line with curved anterior portion (with 62-78 scales and 0 scutes) extending back to the middle of the soft dorsal fin base. The straight posterior portion with 0-8 scales and 34-44 scutes. Total scales/scutes 103-115.


Bright silvery to white over belly and sides, aruptly blue-gray above lateral line. Small black spot on upper opercular margin. No black spots on curved part of lateral line. Caudal fin and tip of dorsal fin red. other fins clear. Symphysis of upper jaw dusky or transparent.


Common to 35cm. Maximum size to 48cm.


From open waters to the bottom from the surface to 220m. Forms large schools.


Scattered records in the W. Atlantic: from North Carolina to Florida, Bermuda, the Gulf of Mexico, the S. Caribbean, Brazil, and Argentina.


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