Fun Atlantic Horse Mackerel Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Atlantic horse mackerel facts tell us about their description.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

Are you interested in learning about various species of fish? You are going to love reading about the Atlantic horse mackerel. The Atlantic horse mackerel is a species of jack mackerel.

The Atlantic horse mackerel is a resident of the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It is also found in the African Indian Ocean, Black Sea, and the Marmara Sea. It is a popular food item all over the world.

This is the reason they are so common in commercial fisheries. The Atlantic horse mackerel also goes by the common name 'common scad'. Another popular common name of the fish is the 'European horse mackerel'.

This fish living on the coast of South Africa and other areas belongs to the family Carangidae. Currently, they are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List. Their popularity in the fisheries has resulted in a decline in their population.

Keep on reading to learn about the description and more about this species of fish. Check out Atlantic mackerel and king mackerel to learn about other interesting fish.

Atlantic Horse Mackerel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Atlantic horse mackerel?

The Atlantic horse mackerel or European horse mackerel is a type of fish belonging to the family Carangidae. It is a member of the order Carangiformes. Atlantic horse mackerel is known to be species of jack mackerel.

What class of animal does an Atlantic horse mackerel belong to?

The Atlantic horse mackerel or common scad belongs to the Actinopterygii class of the Animalia kingdom. It is a member of the phylum Chordata and genus Trachurus. The scientific name of this fish is Trachurus trachurus.

How many Atlantic horse mackerels are there in the world?

The exact number of Atlantic horse mackerels (Trachurus trachurus) living in this world is not yet known. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN, their population trend is decreasing.

Where does an Atlantic horse mackerel live?

Even though the population of this species of fish is known to be decreasing, they can be spotted quite often in their distribution range. They are a resident of the shallow areas in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Southern, western North Sea (Norway) to South Africa is home to these fish. Apart from that, they inhabit the Mediterranean Sea and the African Indian Ocean. A number of Atlantic horse mackerels (species of jack mackerel) are found living in the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea.

What is an Atlantic horse mackerel's habitat?

The Atlantic horse mackerel, a species of jack mackerel, prefers living in shallow areas and at a depth of 330–656 ft (101-200 m). It is a migratory fish and moves to the south where the temperature is higher in winter and returns during the summer to the cooler north, including areas like the North Sea.

Who do Atlantic horse mackerels live with?

The Atlantic horse mackerel or common scad fish (Trachurus trachurus) lives in schools. A school of a large number of Atlantic horse mackerels can be seen together. It prefers doing daily activities in schools.

How long does an Atlantic horse mackerel live?

The average lifespan of an Atlantic horse mackerel fish or European horse mackerel is not known. However, the species living in South Africa can live up to 24 years. The northeastern Atlantic stocks are known to reach a maximum age of 40 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of this species of fish is generally in the summer season. The females reach sexual maturity at two to four years of age. They mostly spawn in batches. Females can lay about 140000 eggs pelagic eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN has listed the Atlantic horse mackerel or European horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) as Vulnerable in their Red List of Threatened Species. The population trend of this fish is known to be diminishing over the years.

Being a common fish in the commercial fisheries, these species of fish fall victim to excessive fishing. Proper recovery plans are needed to protect the population of Atlantic horse mackerel or common scad from declining further.

Atlantic Horse Mackerel Fun Facts

What do Atlantic horse mackerels look like?

The Atlantic horse mackerel or common scad has a compressed body that is gray to blueish-green in color. Compared to the body length, it has a large head.

This species of fish has two dorsal fins and one anal fin. The first dorsal fin is shorter than the second one. The curved line running from head to tail has about 30-40 bony scutes, and the lateral line has 31-36 scutes.

The upper jaw of the fish has quite a length. The upper jaw generally goes up till the front of the eyes.

Atlantic Horse Mackerel

*Please note, this is not the Atlantic horse mackerel, if you have an image of the Atlantic horse mackerel, let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

Like Indian mackerel, the Atlantic horse mackerel or common scad (Trachurus trachurus) living in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea can be considered cute. The slender body with gray and bluish-green coloration adds to its beauty.

How do they communicate?

Atlantic horse mackerel or common scad, like most other fishes, send off vibrations inside the water to communicate.

How big is an Atlantic horse mackerel?

The Atlantic horse mackerel (scientific name- Trachurus trachurus) has an average body length of about 6-12 in (15-30.5 cm). However, some fish of this species can grow as big as 24 in (60 cm). When compared to a Spanish mackerel, the European horse mackerel is much shorter in length.

How fast can an Atlantic horse mackerel swim?

Atlantic horse mackerel or European horse mackerel is an active fish. It is an agile swimmer and is known to cover great distances. However, the exact speed of the fish is not studied yet.

How much does an Atlantic horse mackerel weigh?

Atlantic horse mackerel belonging to the fish family Carangidae weighs around 3-4 lb (1.3-2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male and female Atlantic horse mackerels. They are referred to as male Atlantic horse mackerel and female Atlantic horse mackerel.

What would you call a baby Atlantic horse mackerel?

A baby of Atlantic horse mackerel or common scad fish is referred to as a 'fry'.

What do they eat?

A major part of the diet of the Atlantic horse mackerels consists of crustaceans that are found in their distribution range. Apart from crustaceans, a variety of squids and shrimps also become food to the Atlantic horse mackerels. They are also known to prey on other smaller fishes and their larvae.

Are they dangerous?

The Atlantic horse mackerel or common scad fish species is not considered to be dangerous. They do not pose any threat to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Atlantic horse mackerel can be kept as pets. However, they are not the most preferable choice of fish to keep as a pet.

Did you know...

The sideline present in the fish has a unique S-shape.

Why is it called horse mackerel?

Small fishes are known to ride on the back of these species and cover great distances. This is why they are called horse mackerel.

Eating Atlantic horse mackerel

Like a salmon, the Atlantic horse mackerel or European horse mackerel is a common food item all over the world. It is good to eat as it is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is known to taste great.

Atlantic horse mackerel or common scad can be baked, grilled, boiled, or canned. It is also a popular fish to make sushi in Japan. This is the reason they are so common in commercial fisheries.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these king salmon facts and carp facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Atlantic horse mackerel coloring pages.

Atlantic Horse Mackerel Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Crustaceans, shrimps, squids, smaller fish, larvae

What Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

140000 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

3-4 lb (1.3-2 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

ocean habitats

Where Do They Live?

the atlantic ocean, southern and western north sea, the mediterranean, african indian ocean (west), black sea, marmara sea

How Long Were They?

6-12 in (15-30.5 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Actinopterygii

Genus

Trachurus

Family

Carangidae

Scientific Name

Trachurus trachurus

What Do They Look Like?

Gray and blueish-green

Skin Type

Scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

fishing and habitat loss

What is their Conservation Status?

Vulnerable

the atlantic ocean southern and western north sea the mediterranean african indian ocean (west) black sea marmara sea

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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