(Seriola lalandi lalandi)
Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1833; CARANGIDAE FAMILY;
also called yellowtail kingfish, king yellowtail, northern kingfish,
Cape yellowtail, amberfish,
Occurs south of the equator (not in equatorial waters) off Argentina,
southern Brazil, St. Helena, South Africa, Australia and North Island,
New Zealand. North of the equator the southern yellowtail is replaced by
the California yellowtail, Seriola lalandi dorsalis (Gill, 1863) and the
Asian yellowtail, Seriola lalandi aureovittata Schlegel, 1844
It is currently believed that the worldwide yellowtail complex is one
species, Seriola lalandi. However, three subspecies are recognized, primarily
because of their disjunct distribution and the fact that they do not interact.
The subspecies are California yellowtail (Seriola lalandi dorsalis), Asian
yellowtail (Seriola lalandi aureovittata), and southern yellowtail (Seriola
The yellowtail is a coastal, schooling fish that sometimes enters estuaries.
It has been reported to occur occasionally in very large schools in the
Gulf of California. It feeds predominantly in the morning and late afternoon
on small fishes, invertebrates, and pelagic crabs. Small to medium size
fish generally undertake seasonal migrations. Larger individuals are more
solitary and less migratory.
The yellowtail is easily recognized by its bright yellow tail and a characteristic
brass colored stripe that runs along the median line of the flanks from
the tip of the snout to the tail. It is closely related to the greater
amberjack. It can be distinguished by the greater number of developed gill
rakers, 21 28 on the first arch, while the amberjack has 11 16.
The yellowtail is a fast swimmer. The strike is vicious and is followed
by a long, hard run and sometimes two or three shorter runs before the
fish is boated. Fishing methods include trolling or casting with live baits
or with lures. The yellowtail's habit of driving bait fish up against the
shore makes casting from the beach possible at times. The advice of experts
is to allow time for the bait to be swallowed, then strike hard.
Although opinions vary regarding the food value of this species it is
generally highly regarded, with smaller specimens receiving the better