Blue kite (Decapterus macarellus) is a type of marine fish belonging to the Carangidae tribe. Distributed in tropical waters around the world, this mackerel-like fish is known in English as scad mackerel.
Fish of small-medium stature, slender elongated and almost spherical-piston, resembling a cigar. Maximum body length reaches 32 cm TL (total length) or 30 cm FL (fork length), but generally around 26 cm. Another record mentions a blue kite record as long as 46 cm. The eyes are protected by clear fat lids, which are fully developed covering all parts of the eye; except for a vertical slit centered on the pupil of the eye. The scales on the top of the head are foremost in line with the anterior border of the pupil.
In adult fish, the mouth membrane (valve) on the upper jaw is clearly white. The back end of the maxilla is straight and flat on the top, and is slightly rounded and slightly angled at the bottom. Both jaws without teeth. Sieve combs (including rudimentary ones) are 10-13 in the upper arm and 34-41 in the forearm of the first gill arch; total between 45-54 pieces. The edge of the cleithrum (shoulder girdle) with two protrusions (papillae), the lower protrusion is larger.
First dorsal fin with VIII spines (thorns); far apart from the second dorsal fin composed of spines and 31-37 soft rays, including finlets. The first anal fin consists of II spines; immediately followed by a second anal fin consisting of I spines and 27-31 soft rays, including finlets. The rear ends of the second dorsal and anal fins form clearly separated finlets. The pectoral fin is short, about 58-72% of the head length. The lateral line with the scales lined up slightly curved in front and straight behind near the tail. A total of 58-75 small scales are on the curved front, and 18-39 small scales followed by 24-40 hard scales (shields, scutes) on the straight back. There are no hard scales on the front. The total number of scales and shields is 110-138 pieces, not including the scales on the tail fin. Vertebrae numbered 10 + 14. When alive, the back is bluish green, and silver on the underside of the body. There is a black spot on the back of the gill cover. The caudal fin is yellow-green, the dorsal fin is black at the tip, the anal and pelvic fins are pale or whitish.
Agihan and habitat
Blue scad mainly spreads in the tropics. FAO water areas where this fish is commonly found, among others, are the waters of the western and eastern Indian Ocean; the western and central eastern Pacific Ocean; North and Central Atlantic Ocean; and the Mediterranean and Black Seas. In the Indian Ocean region, this fish spreads from the coast of South Africa, the Maskarena Islands, the Seychelles Islands, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and Sri Lanka; but not in the Persian Gulf. In the waters of the Indo-West Pacific, blue kites are found in the inland seas of the archipelago, east to the Marquesas Islands, north to southern Japan, and south to Australian waters. In the eastern Pacific region, this species is found in the Gulf of California, the coast of Ecuador, and around P. Revillagigedo.
In the western Atlantic, blue flyfish are found in the waters around Nova Scotia and Bermuda, as far south as Rio de Janeiro, although they appear to be somewhat rare in the Gulf of Mexico. In the eastern Atlantic, this fish was recorded from the waters of St. Helena, Ascension Island, and Cape Verde. Also in the Gulf of Guinea, the Azores Islands, and Madeira. Blue kites are also found in sunny waters to a depth of 400 m. This fish likes clear waters, and is often found around the island. Although this fish is usually found near the surface, blue kites are also often caught at depths of 40 to 200 m.
Benefits and economic value
Blue scad has a fairly important value in fisheries