Oligoplites saurus

Super Group: 
Bloch & Schneider 1801
Scomber saurus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Oligoplites inornatus (Gill, 1863)


Diagnosis_Genus: Oligoplites Gill. The height enters 42/3 times in the total length; the length of the head 52/3 times. The upper maxillary reaches nearly to the vettical from the hinder margin of the orbit; the intermaxillary enters 21/3 times in the head's length. The snout is a little longer than the diameter of the eye; the latter equals a quarter of the head's length. The infraorbital bones do not extend to the preoperculum; the one above the maxillary bones is wider than the one above itself and as wide as that behind the eye. The opercular apparatus is vertical in front of the pectoral and for an equal space above. The preoperculum is nearly vertical and its angle obliquely rounded. The width of the operculum and suboperculum in front of the lower axilla of the pectoral equals the diameter of the eye and the interval between suboperculum and axil. The pectoral equals the interval between its axis and the hinder border of the pupil; the ventral is rather shorter but its end almost or quite reaches to the anus. D. V. I. 20. (= 9 + 11.) A. II. I. 20. (=12 + 8.) C. 5. 1. 8. 7. 1. 4 P. 2. 14. V. I. 5. The color is uniform, tinged with blue above.

Diagnosis_Species: Scomber saurus Bloch & Schneider. Corpore argenteo, longitudinaliter striato striis prominulis brevibus interruptis, rictu obliquo, maxilla inferiore longiore.
Body elongate and strongly compressed (depth from 3.5 to 4.4 times in standard length); posterior end of upper jaw reaching posterior rim of eye; upper jaw teeth small and villiform; lower branch of first gill arch with 14 to 18 gill rakers; scales small but visible, needle-shaped, embedded in the skin.
Body_adults_male_length: 27 cm
Body_adults_length_max: 35 cm
Maximum_weight: 287 g
Toxicity: Yes/ Cymothoa spinipalpa/ metazoan Metacamopia oligoplites/ Tergestia pectinata. (The dorsal and anal fin spines are connected to venomous glands and can inflict painful wounds so caution should be used when handling this species. Little is known about the properties of this venom.). (The isopod Cymothoa spinipalpa has been documented as a buccal cavity parasite of the leatherjacket. Other reported parasites of this species include the metazoan Metacamopia oligoplites n. sp. found on the gill filaments and the trematode Tergestia pectinata.


Oligoplites: Greek, oligos = small + Greek, hoplites = armed.

Type species

The type species of the genus Oligoplites is Gasterosteus occidentalis (Linnaeus, 1758).


Type illustration / Type locality / Type specimen

Type locality: Jamaica.


Habitat: Western Atlantic: Maine, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico to Uruguay; throughout most of the West Indies. Absent from the Bahamas. Eastern Pacific: Baja California, Mexico to Ecuador.
Habitat: oceanic
Habitat: estuarine
Habitat: freshwater
Substrate: water
Salinity: brackish
Salinity: marine
Salinity: freshwater
Depth: 0-50 m
Migratory: No

Life cycle

Reproduction_mode: sexual
Fertility_period: Seasonal (Early spring-mid summer)
Spawning_method: External fertilizatioin in shallow inshore waters

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming

Observation site(s)


Displaying 1 - 1 of 1
Association with... Region origin Name of site In reference...
Amyloodinium ocellatum Gulf Coast Research Laboratory