Atlantic Bonito

The Atlantic Bonito (Sarda Sarda) is like a large mackerel. It is common in shallow waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea.

Atlantic Bonito
The Atlantic Bonito in Florida is predominately found along the coastal to offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is very rarely found in the Gulf.

Information & Facts:


The Atlantic Bonito belongs to a group of fish that have the dorsal fins very near, or separated by a narrow interspace. Its body is completely scaled, and the scales of the pectoral fin area and the lateral line are usually larger in size. Bonitos are different from tuna due to their compressed bodies, having no teeth on the roof of the mouth, and differences in colors.

Atlantic Bonito live in Atlantic waters with the their relatives, the Striped Bonito. The Striped Bonito is smaller than the more common Atlantic bonito. The Atlantic Bonito is distinguishable due its dark oblique stripes on the back and with a maxillary only about half as long as the head.

Atlantic Bonito can grow as larges as 75 centimeters (30 in) and weigh 5–6 kilograms (11–13 lb).


The Atlantic Bonito is a very strong swimmer. It usually travels in large schools and is common offshore up north in the vicinity of New York City, where it is known as “skipjack” because of its habit of jumping from the water.

The spawning season is June, and Bonitos around 12–15 centimeters (4.7–5.9 in) are common in September near Long Island.


Atlantic Bonito eat mackerel, menhaden, alewives, silversides, sand lances, and other fishes, as well as squid.

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Atlantic Bonito
Atlantic Bonito
Conservation Status
Conservation Status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scombriformes
Family: Scombridae
Genus: Sarda
S. sarda
Binomial Name

Sarda sarda