Caranx is a genus of tropical to subtropical marine fish in the jack family Carangidae, commonly known as jacks, trevallies and kingfishes. They are moderate to large sized, deep bodied fishes which are distinguished from other carangid genera by specific gill raker, fin ray and dentition characteristics. The genus is represented in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans, inhabiting both inshore and offshore regions, ranging from estuaries and bays to deep reefs and offshore islands. All species are powerful predators, taking a variety of fish, crustaceans and cephalopods, while they themselves are also prey to larger pelagic fishes and sharks. A number of fish in the genus have a reputation as powerful gamefish and are highly sought by anglers. They often make up high amounts of the catch in various fisheries, but are generally considered poor to fair table fishes.
Caranx was created by the French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède in 1801 to accommodate a new species he had described; Caranx carangua (the crevalle jack), which was later found to be a junior synonym of Scomber hippos, which in turn was transferred to Caranx. The early days of carangid taxonomy saw over 100 'species' designated as members of the genus, most of which were synonyms, and a number of genera were created which were later synonymised with Caranx. Caranx took authority over these other genera names due to its prior description, rendering the rest as invalid junior synonyms. Today, after extensive reviews of the family, 18 species are considered valid by major taxonomic authorities Fishbase and ITIS, although there are many other species unable to be properly validated due to poor descriptions. The fish in the genus are commonly referred to as jacks, trevallies or kingfishes. Like the genus Carangoides, the word Caranx is derived from the French carangue, used for some fishes of the Caribbean.
The specific characteristics that distinguish the genus relate to specific anatomical details, with these being a gill raker count between 20 and 31 on the first gill arch, 2 to 4 canines anteriorly positioned in each jaw, and dorsal and anal rays which are never produced into filaments as seen in genera such as Alectis and Carangoides.
Most species are coastal fish, and very few venture into waters further offshore than the continental shelf, and these species are generally moved by ocean currents. They inhabit a range of environments including sand flats, bays, lagoons, reefs, sea mounts and estuaries. Most species are demersal, or bottom dwelling, in nature, while others are pelagic, moving long distances in the upper water column.
All species in Caranx are of at least minor importance to fisheries, but a number are much more so due to their abundance in certain regions. Most are considered to be gamefish, with some such as the giant trevally and bluefin trevally highly sought after by anglers. They are generally considered poor to fair quality table fishes, and have had a number of ciguatera poisoning cases attributed to them.
Review of the crevalle jacks, Caranx hippos complex (Teleostei: Carangidae), with a description of a new species from West Africa.
Apr 01, 2007; Abstract--The Caranx hippos species complex comprises three extant species: crevalle jack (Caranx hippos) (Linnaeus, 1766) from...
Consequences of dispersal of subtropically spawned crevalle jacks, Caranx hippos, to temperate estuaries(*).(Statistical Data Included)
Jul 01, 2000; AbstractCaranx hippos spawn at subtropical and tropical latitudes, but some of their propagules are dispersed hundreds of...
Philometrid nematodes infecting fishes from the Everglades National Park, Florida, USA, with description of two new species
Sep 01, 2010; Abstract: The following three species of the Philometridae (Nematoda: Dracunculoidea) are described from marine perciform fishes...