Greater amberjack

Seriola dumerili

Family Carangidae - jacks

Body elongate, laterally compressed, color on back greenish blue, silvery to white on sides and belly; sometimes with faint yellow stripe from eye to tail; dark bar through eye, often extending to dorsal fin on back; juveniles with yellow or orangish fins; dark vertical bars on specimens smaller than 17 cm (7 in).; no scutes on lateral line; mouth large, upper jaw extends to middle of eye; anal fin preceded by 2 free spines (may be rudimentary in older fish), margin and tip of anal fin lobe whitish; 1st dorsal fin spiny; 2nd dorsal fin starts mid-back and extends to near tail, anterior rays somewhat longer than posterior rays; anal fin shorter than dorsal fin; pelvic fins longer than pectoral fins; grooves present on caudal peduncle.
Similar Species
The 4 species of the genus Seriola look very similar and are hard to distinguish, especially juveniles. One way to distinguish them is by looking at the gill rakers. The lesser amberjack (S. fasciata) and the almaco jack (S. rivoliana) have 21-29 gill rakers that extend all the way to the point of attachment (see drawing). The greater amberjack and the banded rudderfish (S. zonata) have only 12-19 gill rakers, and the gill rakers do not extend to the point of attachment. The greater amberjack can be further distinguished from the banded rudderfish by the distinct broadly rounded hump (and corresponding dip) on the posterior dorsal end of its upper jaw (the supramaxilla). The banded rudderfish has a broadly rounded supramaxilla, but no hump. The banded rudderfish has a smaller eye than other amberjacks. Its upper jaw extends to or past the middle of the eye. The greater amberjack's mouth extends to or before the middle of the eye.
Gulf, open waters or near the bottom, sometimes schools
Maximum Size
190 cm (6 1/4 ft), common to 100 cm (3 1/2 ft)
Fin Element Counts
D. VII-VIII+I,30-35; A. II+I,19-22 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Underwater photo courtesy of TPWD Artificial Reef Marine Species.
State size/bag limits
Minimum size 38 in., bag limit is 1.; Check for state record.