The African Pompano is not a true pompano of the genus Trachinotus, but is more closely allied with the fish commonly called 'jacks' and 'trevallies'.
The African pompano is a schooling predatory fish which eats predominantly a variety of crustaceans, including decapods, carids and copepods, as well as cephalopods and small fish. They are preyed upon by larger fish, including mackerel and tunas, as well as sharks
Information & Facts:
the African Pompano is a deep and laterally compressed fish, with the deepest point of the body located between the origin of the dorsal and anal fins and having the head and tail tapering either side.
The dorsal and ventral profiles are equally convex, with a major distinguishing feature of the adult being its more curved head compared to Alectis indicus’ more angular head profile. The species has four to seven visible spines in the first dorsal fin followed by a single spine and 18 to 20 soft rays in the second dorsal. The anal fin has two spines followed by 15 or 16 soft rays, while the pectoral fin is long and curved.
The skin of the fish appears scaleless, but has minute, embedded scales scattered on the body. The lateral line has a strong and moderately long arch dorsally, with its posterior section having 12 to 30 scutes. The juveniles are distinctive due to their ‘threadfin’ appearance of having trailing anal and dorsal fin filaments which recede with age. During maturation, the species also becomes more elongate and more like that of other genera of jacks.
The body is a silvery-metallic blue to blue-green color above, being darkest on the head and upper shoulders while the underside is more silvery. The juveniles have five chevron-shaped dark bars on their bodies, with a black blotch at the base of the third to sixth soft dorsal fin rays. The base of the filaments is a dark blue to black, with all other fins pale to hyaline in appearance.
The African pompano is known to definitely reach a length of up to 130 cm, and the maximum published weight of the species is 22.9 kg.
The African pompano is distributed throughout the tropical oceans and seas of the world in a temperature range of 65 to 80 °F (18 to 27 °C), although is more often found in coastal waters. The species has been recorded from both the east and west coasts of the USA, South America and Africa, throughout the Indian Ocean and along Asia and Australia, as well as many islands in the Pacific.
The African pompano range into more temperate waters, with juveniles in particular captured off southeastern and western Australia, presumably carried by ocean currents.
The adults of the species prefer coastal waters to depths of 100 m, inhabiting reefs and wrecks throughout the water column. Juveniles are pelagic by nature, inhabiting coastal areas, as well as open ocean.
The African Pompano is a schooling predatory fish which eat predominantly a variety of crustaceans, including decapods, carids and copepods, as well as cephalopods and small fish. They are preyed upon by larger fish, including mackerel and tunas, as well as sharks.
Little is known of their reproductive habits and maturation lengths, although a study in India determined a peak in the abundance of A. ciliaris larvae in April.