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Author: (Bloch, 1793)

Sarda sarda (Bloch, 1793)

Diagnosis: see genera for main taxonomic features. Gillrakers on first arch 16-22. First dorsal fin very long, with 20-23 spines. Vertebrae 50-55. Colour: back and upper sides steel blue, with 5-11 dark, slightly oblique stripes running forward and downward. Size: to 90 cm fork length, 5 kg, common to 5O cm, 2 kg.

Habitat: epipelagic, mostly in coastal waters. Migratory species often schooling near the surface in inshore waters. Food: mostly fishes, particularly small clupeoids, gadoids, and mackerels. Reproduction: spawning does not occur in northern European waters, but occurs from May to July in the Mediterranean. Eggs and larvae planktonic.

Distribution: in the eastern Atlantic north to the British Isles and Scandinavia; throughout the Mediterranean basin and the Black Sea. Elsewhere, tropical and temperate coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, south through the Gulf of Guinea to South Africa.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Ehrenbaum, 1924: 10, fig. 3a-3b (larvae) (?) | Soljan, 1948 (transl. 1963): 147, fig. (juv.) | Padoa, 1956: 479, fig. 308 (egg), 309-312 (larvae) | Klawe & Shimada, 1959: 3, fig. 6 (juv.) | Demir, 1963: 112, fig. p. 113 (eggs), p. 115 (larvae), p. 117-118 (post-larvae), p. I19(juv.) | Bini, 1968, 6: 38, 2 fig.
Otoliths (sagitta). Shepherd, 1910: 292, pl. I (fig. I) | Chaine, 1957: 500, pl. IV Bauzá-Rullán, 1961: 155, pl. I (fig. 7-10) | Fitch & Craig, 1964: 202.

Atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda)