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Species of the month[edit]

Atlantic Horse Mackerel[edit]

Trachurus trachurus

Trachurus trachurus

Some facts on this fish:

Maximum size: 40 cm.

Maximum weight: 1.6 kg.

Distribution: From Africa to about 66°N in the Northeast Atlantic, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Black and Baltic Seas.

Life span: Up to 40 years.

Diet: During winter: Bottom species. During summer: plankton, squid, small sprat and herring, and other fish fingerlings.

First described: By the Swedish naturatist Linnaeus in 1758; originally named Scomber trachurus.

How do you like your Trachurus trachurus: smoked, canned, fried, broiled or baked? This mackerel is an important commercial fish distributed between two main populations: the west stock which spawn in the eastern Atlantic off the coasts of western Europe, and the north stock which spawn in the North Sea. The "horse" comes from a legend telling that other smaller fish species can ride on the back of the horse mackerel over great distances. The Trachurus trachurus congregates in large schools in coastal waters, where it feeds on crustaceans, squid, and other fishes. Females lay a large quantity of eggs-about 140,000, which hatch into 5mm. long larvae. The genus Trachurus or the "Jack mackerels" contains 15 species and belongs to Carangidae, a large family of narrow-bodied marine food fishes equipped with widely forked tails.

See also: Species of previous months