Snake Mackerel, Gempylus serpens: The Snake Mackerel has an overall dark brown to blackish silvery appearance with gray-brown fins with darker margins. The body is very elongated and slender. The head has a pointed snout, large eyes, and a projecting lower jaw that has large conical teeth with large fangs at the front.
The Snake Mackerel, due to its thin body shape and very small forked tail, cannot be confused with any other species.
They reach a maximum length of 125 cm (4 feet) and are normally collected by commercial deep water trawlers as a by-catch being found between the surface and 3,000 feet deep in the water column.
The Snake Mackerel are found in all Mexican fishing waters with the exception of the Sea of Cortez. They are of limited interest and deemed to be of poor food value due to an abundance of small bones.
The Snake Mackerel is a member of the Gempylidae Family which includes the Snake Mackerels, Oilfishes, Escolars and Cutlassfishes which are known collectively in Mexico fishing areas as Escolares. They all have elongated bodies, large mouths with strong teeth and a projecting lower jaw, two dorsal fins, the second of which has a shorter base than the first, an anal fin that is under the second dorsal fin and similar in size, small pelvic fins, and a forked tail.
They are fast swimming oceanic predators that reside in deep water during the day and rise to near the surface at night. The family contains 24 global species within 16 genera, of which 5 species from 5 genera are found in Mexican waters.