Fun Golden Trevally Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Golden Trevally Facts For Kids

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The golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus), also known as the Golden kingfish or the Banded trevally is a large-sized fish species that are found in a vast habitat range that covers the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. Golden trevally is known for its bright yellow colors, especially the babies as adults have much more of a silver look to them.

Like most other species of fish, the golden trevally is also a school fish. They travel in small shoals. The lifestyle of this fish changes with its age as the young swim in the jellyfish tentacles as a part of their symbiotic relationship with them, juveniles stay close to the surface of the water as they swim around larger fish like sharks who protect them from predators alongside other small fish species like the horse mackerel.

As game fish, these species are quite popular among locals of the areas they are found in and are treated as a delicacy in some parts of the world because of their unique taste. The golden trevally has a stable population distribution in their vast habitat ranges and has been listed as a Least Concern species on the IUCN Red List. Even though these fish do not belong to the pilot fish group, the juveniles can often be seen swimming around larger fish to protect themselves from larger fish and to procure easy prey.

If you like these true facts about golden trevally, then you'll surely like these facts about Crevalle Jack and giant trevally too!

Fun Golden Trevally Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Small fish and crustaceans

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

17.6-33 lb (8-15 kg)

How long are they?

35.4-47.2 lb (90-120 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Silvery-gray and yellow with black bars

Skin Type

Wet and slimy scales

What were their main threats?

Humans, Other Larger Fishes Like Sharks

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Coastal Waters, Deep Lagoons, Seaward Reefs


South Africa, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Ecuador, Baja California Sur, Middle East (Widespread Eastern Pacific, Indo-Pacific)









Golden Trevally Interesting Facts

What type of animal is golden trevally?

The golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus), known by other common names like the Golden Kingfish and the Banded Trevally is a large free-swimming marine fish species that are known for their silvery coloration who often attach themselves with sharks or whales for easy food sources.

What class of animal does golden trevally belong to?

The golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus) is a part of the Actinopterygii family of ray-finned fishes. They belong to the Trevally family or the family Carangidae family that consists of other large and small fish species like the Blue runner and the Amberjack fish.

How many golden trevallies are there in the world?

The current population count of this fish species is unknown as the golden trevally is found in a wide range of habitats. The golden trevally is a part of the commercial fishing trade in the Persian Gulf and the Indo-Pacific and eastern pacific water body. This marine animal is also a great game fish as it is a popular part of the diet of humans in the Gulf range. The young or juvenile golden trevally is sold in the aquarium trade as a popular pet fish species.

Where does a golden trevally live?

The banded trevally is a fish species that has a wide range of habitats and is commonly found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. In the Mexican range, they are found along the Baja California Sur, and the southwest coast of Baja. Their habitat range extends from Central American in the east to South Africa in the west. This further extends into Japan from the north and Australia in the south. A large population of this fish exists in the Persian Gulf which is a part of the Indo-Pacific ocean.

What is a golden trevally's habitat?

The golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus) occurs in the inshore regions of the coastal water body and can be found over rocky reefs, lagoons, and seaward reefs. In the Kuwait region, they are seen around reefs over sandy areas where they forage for food, i.e. small fish that are a part of their diets.

Who does a golden trevally live with?

The golden trevally or kingfish juveniles, unlike adults, have a symbiotic relationship with sharks and other larger fishes and will also approach divers and their likeness. The juvenile golden trevally is often spotted living among jellyfish tentacles to escape predators.

If you want to see these fish up close in their natural habitat, scuba diving is your best bet as these fish often come close to scuba divers on the shallow coast and reefs in the waters of Australia.

How long does a golden trevally live?

The golden trevally, once fully matured, can live up to 150 years.

How do they reproduce?

The sexual maturity of these fish is often studied estimated through their size as females become sexually mature when they reach a body length of 12.7 in (32.25 cm), the maturity size of the male is unknown.

The spawning period of this fish is between April and May, and a month before April is when these fish are preparing for spawning. Females who are ready to mate will release pelagic eggs in the water during summer, which the males will fertilize. Since there are no other fish in the Gnathanodon genus and little is known about the reproduction behavior of the golden trevally, not much can be stated about their movement patterns, egg cluster size, diet, age, or growth.

What is their conservation status?

The golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus) is under no special protection and is listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List of animals. The adult golden trevally is part of the commercial fishing trade and the juveniles are used in the aquarium trade as they can be great community tanks or aquarium fish. Since these species are large in population, they often recover their lost population quickly which results in a stable population distribution among their habitat range.

Golden Trevally Fun Facts 

What does a golden trevally look like?

The description of this species is relatively simple as there is a different color tone for the juvenile and the adult. The body of juveniles are wider in comparison to adults and have a silvery tone to them with 7-11 black bars on the body. Adults have silvery-gray scales with yellow bellies and black spots or bars on their sides. The fins are yellow with black-tipped crescent-shaped caudal fins. The anal fins are isolated by one spine and 15-17 rays. The anal and dorsal fins are similar in length and they have 19-22 gill rakes on the upper part of their body with a further 27-30 gill rakers on the lower part.

In aquarium setups, juvenile golden trevally can be easily identified thanks to the yellow and black bars on the bodies of the juveniles.

The Golden Trevally has a beautiful golden yellow color look.

How cute are they?

As adults, they are not very cute, but as young fish, they are quite cute thanks to their small stature and bright yellow frame that helps them stand out.

How do they communicate?

The communication process of this species cannot be stated due to a lack of relevant data.

How big is a golden trevally?

The golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus) is large in size and grows up to 35.4-47.2 lb (90-120 cm) in length.

How fast can a golden trevally swim?

This species has not been studied intricately, as a result of which their movement speed cannot be stated.

How much does a golden trevally weigh?

These species reach a maximum weight of 17.6-33 lb (8-15 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female of the species do not have specific names assigned to them.

What would you call a baby golden trevally?

Golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus) babies are called fry when they hatch and after that, they are known as baby trevally or juvenile trevally.

What do they eat?

The golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus) is omnivorous and forages the surface for crustaceans which are a major part of its diet.

Are they poisonous?

No, these fish are not poisonous. On the contrary, they are great to eat because of their strong but not overpowering flavor.

Catching trevally is easy as you can catch them all year round, even at night! Small jackfish are a great bait to catch them. You will also need a small hook attached to a short length and a small cube of bait.

Would they make a good pet?

The pet factor depends on the age of this species as it is mostly the babies that are suited to aquarium life because of their small stature and can be great tank mates for other species.

Did you know...

Golden trevally is raised on farms for commercial and aquarium trade.

The largest golden trevally ever recorded was 47.2 in (120 cm) in length and 33 lb (15 kg) in weight!

Golden trevally often shows up in the markets of Baja California Sur because they are amazing edible fish.

Golden trevally is a part of the food chain as prey on smaller fish who eat zooplankton and in turn, they are preyed upon by larger species like groupers and tuna.

According to the IUCN, the stock of golden trevally has collapsed in Abu Dhabi as a result of overfishing.

Does the golden trevally have teeth? 

The mouth of this species is fleshy and individuals who are larger than 35.4 in (90 cm) do not have teeth.

How many eggs does a golden trevally lay? 

The egg cluster size of the golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus) cannot be stated due to a lack of data on the species.

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 blue parrotfish surprising facts and bleeding heart tetra facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable I Am Thankful For Fish coloring pages.


Second image by Karelj.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>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.</p>

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