Fun Longtail Tuna Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Longtail Tuna Facts For Kids

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The longtail tuna, Thunnus tonggol, is a ray-finned fish that belongs to the Scombridae family of animals. The fish has a silvery-white body with scales all over that have a few transparent oval spots on the lower part. This tuna fish can live a life of around 18 years unless they've been hunted or caught by the fisheries. They have weak or absent swim bladders, unlike other fish. Even though the population of longtail is unknown, the yellowtail tuna, which is a related species is Near Threatened according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Here's an interesting fact: this fish rarely migrates and is usually seen in the Indo-western Pacific ocean and the Red sea. Hence, the tuna fishing enthusiasts make it a point to catch these in the warm waters mainly because this species is non-migratory. The fisheries have links with different markets that end up selling this fish at expensive prices due to its commercial value.

=Read on to know more about the longtail tuna. If you enjoy interesting facts on fishes, check out unbelievable facts on largetooth sawfish and smalltooth sawfish.

Fun Longtail Tuna Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Small fishes like prawns, sardines, mackerels, squids, crustaceans, larvae, cephalopods

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1.2-1.9 million eggs

How much do they weigh?

Up to 79.1 lb (35.9 kg)

How long are they?

51.2-57.1 in (130 - 145 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Silvery white, grayish, blackish, yellow-greenish

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Data Deficient

Where you'll find them?

Temperate Waters, Inshore Tropical Waters


Indo-western Pacific Ocean, South Australia, Red Sea, North Japan









Longtail Tuna Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a longtail tuna?

These longtail tuna are also known as northern bluefin tuna, and they are fishes that belong to the Scombridae family of animals.

What class of animal does a longtail tuna belong to?

These ray-finned tuna species belong to the Actinopterygii class of animals.

How many longtail tuna are there in the world?

The exact population of these fish living around the marine range across New Guinea and the Pacific ocean has not been recorded as yet.

Where does a longtail tuna live?

This marine tuna, Thunnus tonggol, is mainly found in South Australia, New Guinea, and North Japan. Their habitats are mainly focused on the Indo-West Pacific ocean and the Red Sea.

What is a longtail tuna's habitat?

The longtail tuna or the northern bluefin tuna habitats are favorable around the inshore tropical and temperate waters. These tuna species do not move around murky waters or estuaries. Even though most of the other related species migrate, the longtail tuna migration is considered a rare event to ever occur in the Pacific ocean. Hence, they are caught with gear by many tuna fisheries in their habitat range.

Who do longtail tuna live with?

These tuna species are known to move around in their groups or schools when they are young, although these marine beings living in Australia and elsewhere are solitary when adults.

How long does a longtail tuna live?

Longtail tuna, Thunnus tonggol, has a lifespan of around 5-18 years in the wild. This can be achieved if the tuna species are not threatened by fishery activities carried out by humans.

How do they reproduce?

Although it is known that they go through a lengthy breeding season that lasts between September and March, most of the other information about their reproducing rituals and procedures is unknown.

During this season, the female longtail tuna lures the male, and their external spawning leads to 1.2 to a maximum of 1.9 million eggs being laid in the water. These eggs are released and fertilized by the pairs in the water and they float up to the water surface. There is no parental care provided to the surviving larvae.

What is their conservation status?

Thunnus tonggol or the northern bluefin tunas are marine beings that focus their presence around Australia and north Japan and have been marked under the Data Deficient list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is mainly due to the unavailability of the exact records about their populations.

Longtail Tuna Fun Facts

What do longtail tuna look like?

These fishes have a long body which is a dark blue to blackish in color. The lower part of the body is silvery-white in color with oval spots all over. Their swim bladders are weak as compared to other fish and are usually not that developed.

Their second dorsal and anal fins add a yellowish tinge to their body. The pectoral fins however are black. Their finlets usually have margins that look greenish-yellow in color. There is no distinction that can be made between the male and the female tuna, although it is assumed that females reach their maturity earlier than males.

Longtail tuna has a great length along with silvery and blackish scales.
We've been unable to source an image of longtail tuna and have used an image of yellowfin tuna instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of longtail tuna, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How cute are they?

The longtail tuna off the rocks around the marine areas are not considered cute mainly due to their yellowish-green colors near the fins. Although, due to their taste, this tuna is considered a delicacy across the world.

How do they communicate?

Just like other fishes, these tunas communicate with their visual and sensory aids.

How big is a longtail tuna?

The longtail tuna species has an average length range of 51.2-57.1 in (130-145 cm). They are twice the length of the blackfin tuna.

How fast can a longtail tuna swim?

Any tuna species have a great body designed for swift swimming. Their pectoral fins, second dorsal and anal fins with oval spots on their body help the tunas swim at 43 mph (69.2 kph) at the maximum.

How much does a longtail tuna weigh?

These tunas can have a weight of up to 79.1 lb (35.9 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male and female tunas of this species. All around the world, they are known as longtail tunas and the distinction between them based on their sex is usually difficult to make.

What would you call a baby longtail tuna?

Like many other fishes, the babies of these tunas are also called fries, or a baby is called just a fry.

What do they eat?

These longtail tuna eating patterns are quite interesting to talk about mainly because this species with a weight of up to 79.1 lb (35.9 kg) is an opportunistic feeder. Yes! The feeding pattern of these tuna fishes focuses on eating small fish in their vicinity. They catch small prawns, sardines, mackerels, squids, crustaceans, larvae, and cephalopods while swimming across their marine range.

Are they aggressive?

Even though this species of tuna, with its great length and weight, is known to be an aggressive predator, its acts of aggression are usually limited to its feeding spaces. There aren't any dangerous acts caused by this tuna towards any humans recorded for them to be labeled as dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Due to the length of this species of tuna, the fish is considered to get difficult to fit in an aquarium. Hence, due to the management issue and its predatory diet requirements, they are caught as a source of meat alone and not kept as pets during the tuna fishing process.

Did you know...

These fishes have a medium texture and make a really good meat product. Hence, they are considered to be expensive fish. Tonnes of canned tuna is made with the help of longtail meat caught by the fisheries involved with fishing activities in the temperate and tropical waters.

Naming the longtail tuna

The tuna has a deep first fin that makes it look like it has a longer tail. That is what gave it the name longtail tuna. This fish has a few other names like the northern bluefin tuna and Thunnus tonggol.

Can we eat it?

Yes, of course, longtail tuna is a major stock caught by the longtail tuna NSW fisheries in Australia using gear. Although, any fish when consumed in excessive amounts links to health management issues. The longtail or bluefin tuna - smoked, baked, grilled, or fried, is considered one of the tastiest dishes. People also prefer targeting bluefin mainly because it consists of fewer fats than other tuna.

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 African lungfish facts and black ghost knifefish facts for kids.

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

 Second image by Pedasí consultant.

We've been unable to source an image of longtail tuna and have used an image of yellowfin tuna instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of longtail tuna, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

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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