A member of the Carangidae family of jacks, the rainbow runner does not look like other jacks because it is a much slimmer, more streamlined ﬁsh. It is also an excellent food ﬁsh, with ﬁrm, white ﬂesh, marketed fresh and salted/dried. In Japan, the rainbow runner is cooked with a special sauce or eaten raw and is considered a delicacy.
IdentificationThe rainbow runner is blue-green above and white or silver below, with a yellow or pink cast. On both sides, there is a broad, dark-blue, horizontal stripe from the snout to the base of the tail; a narrow, pale-blue stripe immediately below it that runs through each eye; a pale to brilliant-yellow stripe below that; and then another narrow pale-blue stripe.
The tail is yellow and the other ﬁns are a greenish- or olive yellow. The rainbow runner has a slender body that is more elongated than those of most other jacks. The ﬁrst dorsal ﬁn has six spines and the second has one spine and 25 to 27 connected soft rays. Behind this is a 2-rayed ﬁnlet.
The anal ﬁn has a single detached spine with 16 to 18 soft rays, followed by a 2-rayed ﬁnlet. The rainbow runner is similar to the cobia in shape but can be distinguished by its coloring, as well as by the ﬁnlets that follow the dorsal and the anal ﬁns.