* Jack Family Photos and Information – Carangidae

The Jack Family

Island Jack, Carangoides orthogrammus, a representative member of the Jack Family. This same photo can also be found on page 331 of a book entitled “Fil-O-Fish” a waterproof handbook of Australian fishes where the fish is known locally as the Thicklip Trevally and found along the eastern, northern and western coasts of Australia.
Island Jack, Carangoides orthogrammus, a representative member of the Jack Family. This same photo can also be found on page 331 of a book entitled “Fil-O-Fish” a waterproof handbook of Australian fishes where the fish is known locally as the Thicklip Trevally and found along the eastern, northern and western coasts of Australia.

The fish of the Jack or Carangidae Family are known in Mexico’s fishing areas as Jureles and Pámpanos. The family is very large and includes the Jacks, Amberjacks, Crevalles, Jack-Mackerels, Leatherjackets, Lookdowns, Pilotfish, Pompanos, Scads and Trevallies with more than 150 global species in 30 genera that are found in all tropical and subtropical seas. They are schooling pelagic fishes with large continental distributions that are normally found near the surface far off shore. The Jacks are generally silvery in color being darker above and lighter below ranging in size from 30 cm (11.8 inches) and 1 pound to 170 cm (67 inches) and 90 pounds. They have widely differing body shapes. Most are powerful mid-water swimmers that are characterized by their streamlined, aerodynamic latterly compressed bodies with a slender tail base and deeply forked caudal fin with equal lobes. Their heads vary from moderately long and rounded to short, deep and very compressed with eyes that are small to large, the snouts are pointed to blunt, and they have large gill openings. Their anal and dorsal fins are low but often have elongated rays at the front. The anal fin has two detached spines (a key to the family), one additional spine and fifteen to thirty nine spines and are low being short to elongated in length. The first dorsal fin is of moderate to very low in height with four to eight spines, the second dorsal fin has one spine and eighteen to forty four rays. The lateral line is arched or elevated above the pectoral fins and straight posteriorly extending into the caudal fin. Many Jacks have prominent scutes on the rear portion of the lateral line. Their bodies are covered with small scales.

The Jacks are voracious predators feeding primarily on small fishes; some species also consume crustaceans and mollusks, while the scads eating mainly planktonic invertebrates. Although not strictly reef fishes, jacks are common over rocky structure, along the edge of reefs, sometimes adjacent to steep slopes and large “drop-offs”. They frequently travel in large schools and roam considerable distances, following schools of smaller bait fish. Jacks spawn pelagically, releasing large numbers of tiny buoyant eggs that travel the globe, carried by currents. Most Jacks are highly esteemed food fishes and are targeted by both commercial and sport fishermen. They are considered to be very important commercial fishes with annual catches in excess of 1 million tons from the Western Central Pacific alone where they are caught via trawls, purse seines, traps and long lines. The Caranx, Seriola, and Trachinotus are highly regarded as sportsfish.

Thirty four members of the Jack Family found in Mexico fishing waters and represented in the fish identification section of this website include:

African Pompano, Alectis ciliaris
Amberjack, Seriola rivoliana
Amberstripe Scad, Decapterus muroadsi
Bar Jack, Caranx ruber
Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus
Bigeye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus
Blackblotch Pompano, Trachinotus kennedyi
Blue Runner, Caranx crysos
Bluefin Trevally, Caranx melampygus
Cocinero, Caranx vinctus
Crevalle Jack, Caranx hippos
Fortune Jack, Seriola peruana
Gafftopsail Pompano, Trachinotus rhodopus
Golden Trevally, Gnathanodon speciosus
Greater Amberjack, Seriola dumerili
Green Jack, Caranx caballus
Horse-eye Jack, Caranx latus
Island Jack, Caranx orthogrammus
Jack Mackerel, Trachurus symmetricus
Leatherjack, Oligoplites saurus
Longjaw Leatherjack, Oligoplites altus
Mackerel Scad, Decapterus macarellus
Mexican Lookdown, Selene brevoortii
Pacific Bumper, Chloroscombrus orqueta
Pacific Crevalle Jack, Caranx caninus
Pacific Moonfish, Selene peruviana
Paloma Pompano, Trachinotus paitensis
Pilotfish, Naucrates doctor
Rainbow Runner, Elagatis bipinnulata
Shortfin Scad, Decapterus macrosoma
Steel Pompano, Trachinotus stilbe
Threadfin Jack, Caranx otrynter
Whitemouth Jack, Uraspis helvola
Yellowtail , Seriola lalandi

Note: To date I do not have access to the following Jacks, each of which is reported to be a resident of the Mexican waters of the Pacific: the Black Jack (Jurel Negro), Caranx lugubris, the Blackfin Jack (Jurelito Chocho), Hemicaranx zelotes, the Cottonmouth Jack (Jurel Volantin), Uraspis secunda, the Mexican Moonfish (Jorobado Carite), Selene orstedii, the Shortjaw Leatherjack (Piña Flaca), Oligoplites refulgens, and the Yellowfin Jack (Jurelito Aletiamarillaedo), Hemicaranx leucurus. I would welcome the submission of a photograph of each of these Jacks for inclusion in this website. On this topic I remain ever vigilant.