These two members of the Carangidae family are almost identical in appearance and were formerly thought to be the same species.
IdentificationBoth species are bluish-green to greenish-gold on the back and silvery or yellowish on the belly. They are compressed, and the deep body has a high, rounded proﬁle, as well as a large mouth. The tail and the anal ﬁn may be yellowish, and the ends of the dorsal ﬁn and the upper tail are occasionally black.
There is a prominent black spot on the gill cover and another at the base of each pectoral ﬁn. The soft dorsal and anal ﬁns are almost identical in size. The two species are distinguished externally from each other only by the presence of a larger maximum number of scutes, up to 42 on the Paciﬁc crevalle jack, as opposed to 26 to 35 on the crevalle jack.
SizeAveraging 3 to 5 pounds in weight and 1 to 21⁄2 feet in length, the crevalle jack can regularly weigh as much as 10 pounds; the Paciﬁc crevalle jack is usually smaller. The all-tackle world record for the crevalle jack is a 58-pound Angolan ﬁsh and for the Paciﬁc crevalle jack is a 39-pound Costa Rican ﬁsh.
Life history/BehaviorSpawning occurs offshore from March through September. Young ﬁsh occur in moderate to large fast-moving schools, and crevalle jacks occasionally school with horse-eye jacks, although larger ﬁsh are often solitary.
Food and feeding habitsVoracious predators, they feed on shrimp, other invertebrates, and smaller ﬁsh. Crevalle jacks will often corner a school of baitﬁsh at the surface and feed in a commotion that can be seen for great distances, or they will chase their prey onto beaches and against seawalls. Fish of both species often grunt or croak when they are caught.
Other Namescrevalle jack
common jack, crevally, toro, trevally, horse crevalle; Spanish: cavallo, chumbo, cocinero, jurel común.
Paciﬁc crevalle jack
toro, crevally, cavalla, jiguagua; Spanish: aurel, burel, canche jurel, chumbo, cocinero, jurel toro, jurelito, sargentillo.