African threadfish

Taxobox
name = African threadfish


regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Actinopterygii
ordo = Perciformes
subordo = Percoidei
superfamilia = Percoidea
familia = Carangidae
genus = "Alectis"
species = "A. alexandrinus "
binomial = "Alectis alexandrinus "
binomial_authority = (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)
synonyms =
*"Gallus alexandrinus"
(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

*"Scyris alexandrina"
(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

*"Scyris alexandrinus"
(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

*"Vomer alexandrinus"
(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

*"Caranx alexandrinus"
(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

*"Blepharis alexandrinus"
(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

*"Alectis alexandrina"
(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

*"Gallichthys aegyptiacus"
(Cuvier, 1833)

*"Caranx goreensis" (Cuvier, 1833)
*"Hynnis goreensis" (Cuvier, 1833)
*"Selene goreensis" (Cuvier, 1833)
range_

range_map_width = 240px
range_map_caption =Approximate distribution of the African threadfish. Note there is only one record for the Adriatic Sea.
The African threadfish, "Alectis alexandrinus", (also known as the Alexandria pompano) is a large species of marine fish in the jack family, Carangidae. The species is distributed along the coast of tropical Africa in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, extending to the Mediterranean Sea. Adults live predominantly in shallow waters shallower than 70 m deep, often forming small schools. The African threadfish is similar in appearance to the closely related Indian threadfish, with fin ray counts the most definitive feature of the species. Like other members of the genus "Alectis", the juveniles of the species have long trailing dorsal and anal fins. The African threadfish is of minor commercial importance, and is also considered to be a game fish.

Taxonomy

The African threadfish is one of three members of the diamond trevally genus "Alectis", which itself is one of 33 genera encapsulated in the jack family Carangidae. The Carangidae are perciform fishes in the suborder Percoidei. [ITIS | ID = 641972 | taxon = Alectis alexandrinus| year = 2007 | date = 29 October]

The species has a rather confused taxonomic history, which is based on only two scientific descriptions. The first description was made by the French naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1817, in which he named the species "Gallus alexandrinus", using the name "Gallus" after Lacépède recognised the genus separate from "Zeus". However, "Gallus" was preoccupied by a bird, cite book | last = Hosese | first = D.F. | coauthors = Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. and Alen, G.R. | title = Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol. 35 (2) Fishes | publisher = CSIRO | date = 2007 | location = Sydney | pages = 1150 | isbn =978-0-643-09334-8 ] leading to the reassignment of the species to at least six different genera, before the species was correctly placed in "Alectis". The second description was made by Georges Cuvier in 1833 under the name of "Gallichthys aegyptiacus". This 'species' was also re evaluated twice, before the description was discarded as a junior synonym of "A. alexandrinus". The species has also been incorrectly referred to as "Alectis alexandrina" as a misspelling of the correct binomial name.

The common names 'African threadfish' and 'Alexandria pompano' are in reference to the species prominent distribution around Africa, as well as the thread like appearance of the juveniles dorsal and anal fins.FishBase species | genus = Alectis | species = alexandrinus | year = 2007 | month = October]

Description

The African threadfish has the typical body structure of a large jack, with a distinctly angular, strongly compressed body. The major identifying feature of the species is its head profile, having a slight concavity near the eyes which distinguishes it from the African pompano. The dorsal profile of the fish is more curved than the ventral profile, and the body is deepest between the origins of the soft dorsal and soft anal fins.cite journal | last = Gunn | first = John S. | title = A revision of selected genera of the family Carangidae (Pisces) from Australian waters | journal = Records of the Australian Museum | volume = Supplement 12 | pages =1–78 | date = 1990 | accessdate = ] The first section of the dorsal fin consists of 5 to 7 visible spines, with the second section having one spine and 20 to 22 soft rays. The anal fin has two spines followed by a single spine and 18 or 19 soft rays. The pectoral fin is long and curved, extending beyond the junction of the straight and curved sections of the lateral line. Anterior to the caudal fin are two oblate keels on each side of the line of scutes.cite book | last = Bellemans | first = M | coauthors = A. Sagna, W. Fischer & N. Scialabba | title = Guide des Ressources Halieutiques Du Senegal et de la Gambie | publisher = FAO | date = 1988 | location = Rome | pages = 45 | isbn = 92-5-202747-5] The body appears to be scaleless, but on closer inspection has minute, deeply embedded scales. The lateral line is strongly curved anteriorly, with a section of 6 to 11 scutes toward the tail. Juveniles and often adults have long, filamentous trailing first anal and dorsal fin spine. The species grows to at least 1 m in length.

The fish is a silver colour, often with blue and greenish tints and reflection, especially when fresh. The fins are all a pale silvery green to blue colour, or hyaline. Juveniles may show two dark bands on their lower bodies.

Distribution and habitat

The African threadfish is primarily distributed throughout the tropical eastern Atlantic Ocean, inhabiting the waters of West Africa from Morocco around to Angola. The species also has had several individuals taken from the Mediterranean [cite journal | last = Torcu | first = Hatic | coauthors = Zeliha Aka & Akif ÜÞBÜLÜR | title = An Investigation on Fishes of The Turkish Rebuplic of Northern Cyprus | journal = Turk J Vet Anim Sci | volume = 25 | issue = 3 | pages = 155–159 | publisher = T†BÜTAK | date = 2001 | url = http://journals.tubitak.gov.tr/veterinary/issues/vet-01-25-2/vet-25-2-3-9909-13.pdf | accessdate = 2007-10-31 ] [cite journal| last = Santos | first =R.S. | coauthors = Barreiros, J.P., Worms, J., Porteiro, F.M., Afonso, P. & Wirtz, P. | title = Contribution to the knowledge of the coastal marine fishes of São Tomé Island (Gulf of Guinea) | journal = Life and marine Sciences | volume = 17 | issue = A | pages = 65–92 | date = 1999 | url = http://hdl.handle.net/1834/704 | accessdate =2007-10-31 ] and one extreme capture in the Adriatic Seas. [cite journal | last = Dulcic | first = J. | title = On the record of the African threadfish Alectis alexandrinus (Pisces: Carangidae) from the Adriatic Sea | journal = Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK | volume = 85 | issue = 4 | pages = 1013–1014 | publisher = Cambridge University Press | date = 2005 | doi = 10.1017/S0025315405012051 | id = | accessdate =2007-10-31 ]

Adults are generally solitary in coastal waters, occupying lower parts of the water column, down to at least 70 m. Juveniles are usually pelagic and drift with ocean currents, sometimes ending up in estuarine environments.

Biology

Limited information is available on the species biology, with only the diet of the species confirmed. The African threadfish feeds on squid and other fishes. The reproduction in the species is largely unknown, but observations on "Alectis ciliaris" suggest individual fish may pair and then spawn. [cite journal | last = Westernhagen | first = H. Von | title = Observations on the natural spawning of "Alectis indicus" (Rüppell) and "Caranx ignobilis" (Forsk.) (Carangidae) | journal = Journal of Fish Biology | volume = 6 | issue = 4 | pages = 513–516 | publisher = Blackwell Synergy | date = 1974 | doi = 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1974.tb04567.x | accessdate =2007-10-23 ]

Relationship to humans

The species is of minor importance to local fisheries throughout its range, and is also considered a good game fish, especially in larger sizes. The species is rarely targeted by anglers though, due to its comparative rarity. The fish also fetches high prices at market, unlike many other members of the Carangidae.

References

External links

* [http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=1888 African threadfish at Fishbase]


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