yu-shiang whole fish

Black jack (fish)

The Black jack, Caranx lugubris, is a gamefish in the family Carangidae. It was first described in 1860 by Cuban Zoologist, Felipe Poey in his two-volume work Historia Natural de la Isla de Cuba, or "Natural History of the Island of Cuba". As food, Black jack are usually marketed as fresh, whole fish, but they are also sold salted or dried.


The head of a Black jack slopes steeply downwards and the anterior part is Concave. The mouth is fairly large compared to other members of its genus and the maxilla extends to the center of the fish's eye. The dorsal fin of a Black jack usually has nine spines and twenty to twenty-two rays. The anal fin has only three spines and sixteen to nineteen rays. The body of the fish has been described as being dark grey/ olive-colored or even black along the back that lightens to a gray-blue near the underside of the fish. The Black jack's scutes are black. The longest recorded Black jack was 221 cm in length and the greatest known weight was 20.4 kg.

Distribution and habitat

The Black jack is benthopelagic and is known from subtropical waters. They can be found in depths from 12m to 354m. Black jack are circumtropical, meaning their range extends around Earth's equatorial regions, in their distribution. In the western Indian Ocean, they can be found off Natal and East London (South Africa) to the Seychelles. They are also known from Reunion, Mauritius and Cargados Carajos. In the western Pacific Ocean, Black jack are known from Japan south to New Caledonia and Tonga and in the eastern Pacific, from Mexico (and the Revillagigedo Islands) to Costa Rica. In the western Atlantic Ocean, they have been found off Bermuda and in the northern Gulf of Mexico south to Rio de Janero. In the eastern Atlantic, Black jack are reported from the Azores, Madeira St. Paul's Rocks, Ascension Island, and the Gulf of Guinea.



  • Paxton, J.R., D.F. Hoese, G.R. Allen and J.E. *Hanley, 1989. Pisces. Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Vol. 7. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 665 p.

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