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Cobia Rachycentron canadum

 

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Cobia
credit: NOAA

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Family: Rachycentridae, Cobias view all from this family



Description Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)—also known as black kingfish, black salmon, ling, lemonfish, crabeaters, aruan tasek, etc.—are perciform marine fish, the sole representative of their family, the Rachycentridae.

Attaining a maximum length of 2 metres (78 inches) and maximum weight of 68 kilograms (150 pounds), cobia have elongate fusiform (spindle shaped) bodies and broad, flattened heads. Their eyes are small and their lower jaw projects slightly past the upper jaw. On the jaws, tongue and roof of the mouth are bands of villiform (fibrous) teeth. Their bodies are smooth with small scales, their dark brown coloration grading to white on the belly with two darker brown horizontal bands on the flanks. These may not be prominent except during spawning when cobia lighten in colour and adopt a more prominently striped pattern. The large pectoral fins are normally carried horizontally (rather than vertically as shown for convenience in the illustration), so that, as seen in the water they may be mistaken for a small shark. When boated, the horizontal pectoral fins enable the cobia to remain upright so that their vigorous thrashing can make them a hazard. The first dorsal fin is composed of six to nine independent, short, stout, and sharp spines. The family name Rachycentridae, from the Greek words rhachis meaning "spine" and kentron meaning "sting," is an allusion to these dorsal spines. Mature cobia have forked, slightly lunate tail fins with most fins being a dark brown. They lack air bladders.


Dimensions Up to 6'7" (2 m); 110 1/4 lbs (50 kg).


Habitat Open ocean, Ocean or bay shallows.


Range Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas.


 

 

 

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