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Fun Frigate Tuna Facts For Kids

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Outdoor & NatureLearn more
Fun Frigate Tuna Facts For Kids

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A tuna species, the frigate tuna (Auxis thazard) belongs to the family of Scombridae. The species is known by several names such as frigate mackerel and alagaduwa. These fishes inhabiting the eastern Pacific Ocean are now being regarded as a separate species. The subspecies is generally known as Auxis brachydorax.

The frigate mackerel has a robust and elongated body and is metallic blue-black. The species possess two dorsal fins that are widely separated. The first dorsal fin has ten spines, while the second dorsal fin has seven finlets. Also, the second dorsal fin and the anal fin are quite tiny. The pectoral fins are quite short as well and do not reach a vertical line from the anterior margin of the scaleless area on the back.

Frigate mackerel also possess a well-developed corselet of scales on the front body and around one to five scales wide under the second dorsal fin. Above the lateral line in the scaleless area, a patch of 15 or more narrow dark wavy lines can be seen. The average body weight and length are around 2-4 lb (0.9-2 kg) and 8-19 in (20-48 cm), respectively.

These fish inhabit shallow coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. The larvae are pelagic and generally dwell in the open sea. They are omnivores and feed on small fishes, crustaceans, and squids, while stomatopod larvae are other common food. The IUCN listed the species as Least Concern but predation can be a major threat to this species.

Let's read more interesting facts about the frigate tuna, and if you find this article insightful, don't forget to check our exciting facts about different animals like the bonito fish and gar.

Frigate Tuna Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a frigate tuna?

The frigate tuna (Auxis thazard) is a tuna fish that is found in tropical oceans. These fishes inhabiting the eastern Pacific Ocean are now being regarded as a separate species, and the subspecies is generally known as Auxis brachydorax. Another frigate tuna common name is frigate mackerel or bullet tuna.

What class of animal does a frigate tuna belong to?

The frigate mackerel (Auxis thazard) belongs to the class of Actinopterygii, the family Scombridae, and the Auxis genus. The bullet mackerel (Auxis rochei) also belongs to the Auxis genus.

How many frigate tunas are there in the world?

The exact population of frigate mackerel fish is not known as of now but the population seems to be stable as it is listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Also, the population of bullet mackerel (Auxis rochei) seems to be unaffected.

Where does a frigate tuna live?

The range of frigate mackerel (Auxis thazard) generally includes tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. The fishes found in the eastern Pacific Ocean have been classified as a subspecies named Auxis brachydorax. The larvae are pelagic and generally dwell in the open sea.

What is a frigate tuna's habitat?

The frigate tuna species is known for being a cosmopolitan fish species that generally inhabits coastal and oceanic waters throughout the world. The habitat of adult fish is neritic and primarily includes shallow coastal waters and water columns.

Who do frigate tunas live with?

Like other scombrids, frigate tuna (Auxis thazard) fish live by forming schools. These fish generally form schools with other scombrids such as bullet mackerel or bullet tuna. Also during the breeding season, bullet tuna or frigate tuna form pairs with their partners.

How long does a frigate tuna live?

The exact lifespan of frigate tuna or bullet mackerel is not known, however, predation is the only major threat to Scombrids.

How do they reproduce?

When it comes to the distribution of these fish, the species is found throughout the world and the breeding season generally varies depending on the location of this fish. In the southern part of the Indian Ocean, spawning generally takes place from April to August, while spawning occurs from January to April in the northern regions. The species spawn throughout the year in the eastern Pacific and from December to April off the coast of Costa Rica. Also, the location of this species generally determines maturity. Females generally lay about 200,000-1 million eggs. The larvae are pelagic and generally dwell in the open sea.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN listed the species as Least Concern but predation can be a major threat to this species.

Frigate Tuna Fun Facts

What do frigate tunas look like?

The frigate mackerel has a robust and elongated body and is metallic blue-black. The species possess two dorsal fins that are widely separated. The first dorsal fin has ten spines, while the second dorsal fin has seven finlets. Also, the second dorsal fin is quite tiny, the anal fin is quite small, and the pectoral fins are quite short as well and does not reach a vertical line from the anterior margin of the scaleless area on the back.

Frigate mackerel also possess a well-developed corselet of scales on the front body and around one to five scales wide under the second dorsal fin. Above the lateral line in the scaleless area, a patch of 15 or more narrow dark wavy lines can be seen.

These rare frigate tuna facts will make you love them.

* Please note that this is an image of a yellowfin tuna, not a frigate tuna. If you have an image of a frigate tuna, please let us know at [email protected].

How cute are they?

The peaceful nature of this fish makes it even more adorable as this species loves to live with several other Scombrids like bullet mackerel. It would be a lovely sight to see their schools in oceans.

How do they communicate?

This fish generally uses similar methods to communicate with others. The lateral line helps the most in communication. The lateral line possesses a sensing organ along the sides that helps to detect vibrations in the water around the habitat.

How big is a frigate tuna?

The average body weight and length are around 2-4 lb (0.9-2 kg) and 8-19 in (20-48 cm), respectively. These fish are bigger than the white cloud mountain minnow and round goby.

How fast can a frigate tuna swim?

The exact speed of mackerels is not known, but this species along with bullet mackerel are known for being quite active within their habitat. Also, other tuna fishes such as yellowfin tuna swim at a speed of 47 mph (75 kph).

How much does a frigate tuna weigh?

The average weight of a frigate tuna is around 2-4 lb (0.9-2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to male and female fish. People generally refer to them as frigate tuna or mackerel tuna fish. Also, there is no evidence of sexual dimorphism.

What would you call a baby frigate tuna?

No particular names are used to refer to the baby frigate tuna. People either call them young or juvenile fish. The larvae are pelagic and generally dwell in the open sea.

What do they eat?

The species is an omnivore and frigate tuna diet includes small fishes, crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps, squids, while this species also feed on stomatopod larvae. They search for their prey quite actively.

Are they dangerous?

Generally, frigate tunas are not dangerous and do not pose any threats to humans. Along with a robust and elongated body, these fish also have a single line of tiny pointed teeth which they can attack humans with. Proper precautions should be taken during fishing.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these fish are not considered pets.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The maximum length of bullet mackerel is around 20 in (50 cm) and the fish is edible.

The frigate tuna is edible but is not generally consumed as its flesh deteriorates quite quickly and is very oily as well.

The other name of frigate tuna is melva.

How did the frigate tuna get its name?

The fish is considered commercially quite significant and is generally used as bait. This is the reason why people started calling the species frigate tuna.

Are frigate tunas Endangered?

The IUCN listed the species as Least Concern but predation can be a major threat to the species. Also, with the increasing pollution level, climate change could also become a major threat to this species and can affect a large population inhabiting several parts of the world. To prevent such repercussions, making and enforcing laws is needed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our chum salmon facts and channel catfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Frigate tuna coloring pages.

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