Species Details

Details of Dogtooth Tuna will be displayed below

Dogtooth Tuna   

Common Name: Dogtooth Tuna, Dogtooth unicolor, Dogtooth unicolor
Scientific Name: Gymnosarda unicolor
Local Name: Woshi'mas
Dhivehi Name: ވޮށިމަސް
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Perciformes  (Order)
Scombridae  (Family)
Gymnosarda   (Genus)

Dogtooth Tuna's description

Dogtooth tuna can reach a length of 190–248 centimetres (75–98 in) in males, and a weight of 130 kg. The average size commonly observed is around 40 to 120 cm. They have 12-15 dorsal soft rays and 12-14 anal soft rays.And have 0 anal spines and anal soft rays 12-13; Vertebrae: 38. Mouth fairly large, upper jaw reaching to middle of eye. Laminae of olfactory rosette 48 to 56. Interpelvic process large and single. Lateral line strongly undulating. Body naked posterior to corselet. Swim bladder large, spleen visible in ventral view on the right side of the body. The back and upper sides brilliant blue-black, lower sides and belly silvery; no lines, spots or other markings on the body. The lateral line is strongly undulating. These large size tunas have a streamline shape and a distinctive body coloration: brilliant blue green on the back, silvery on the side and whitish on the belly, with two white tips on the two back fins close to its caudal peduncle. They are always swimming with open jaws. The upper jaw of the large mouth reaches the eye.

Dogtooth Tuna's facts

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Dogtooth Tuna's Behavior & Ecology

The dogtooth tuna is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific area from the eastern coast of Africa, Red Sea included, to French Polynesia and oceanic islands of the Pacific Ocean (Hawaii excluded), north to Japan, south to Australia.These offshore fishes can be found mainly in reef environments with smaller fish being more commonly found near shallow reef areas and larger ones haunting deep reef drop off areas, seamounts and steep underwater walls. Usually they are solitary or occur in small schools, to a depth of 10–300 metres (33–984 ft). The dogtooth tuna is one of the apex non-pelagic predators in its environment, sharing that position with giant trevally, Napoleon wrasse, and large groupers, as well as reef, bull and tiger sharks. These aggressive opportunistic predators feed on small schooling fishes and squids, and are capable of taking a wide variety of prey items. In most areas, the mainstay of its diet probably consists of pelagic schooling fish found near reef habitat (mainly, Caesio, Cirrhilabrus, Pterocaesio, carangids such as rainbow runners and Decapterus, mackerel scad, and scombrids).

Dogtooth Tuna's Feeding

Feeds on small schooling fishes such as Decapterus, Caesio, Nasio, Cirrhilabrus, Pterocaesio and squids.

Dogtooth Tuna's Relationship with Humans

These fishes are usually marketed canned and frozen. Adults may be ciguatoxic. The dogtooth tuna is appreciated in most of its range as a fine food fish and also as a game fish sought by both rod and reel anglers and spearfishermen. Dogtooth tuna used to be mostly taken as an incidental catch by anglers trolling for other gamefish - with natural baits for black marlin, for instance, or with lures for wahoo and Spanish (narrowbarred) mackerel. In the last 10 to 15 years there has been more dedicated effort directed at this species because of its rarity and sporting qualities. Dogtooth tuna are now a highly coveted prize by many European and Asian sports anglers. Large specimens are seldom found where there is significant fishing pressure and can be one of the most difficult gamefish to capture. Their habit of making high-speed downward runs when hooked, even on heavy tackle, often sees the line being cut as it contacts deep bottom structure. Sharks frequently mutilate both hooked and speared fish during the later stages of the fight, adding to the difficulty in landing them. The majority of dogtooth tuna captures have tended to be made by trolling with dead and live baits or with lures, particularly deep-swimming plugs. These techniques are still often used, with one niche specialty being the use of live bait such as rainbow runners to tease dogtooth tuna within range of light tackle and fly-casting anglers. High speed jigging with a variety of metal lures has increased tremendously in popularity in the last several years as advancements in tackle technology have resulted in lightweight rods and reels that are capable of handling heavy spectra-type braided lines. Some of the more popular destinations for anglers seeking this species include Okinawa and other islands of southern Japan, Rodrigues, Maldives, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Bali and elsewhere in Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia, the Great Barrier Reef and its outlying atolls, and many Western Pacific islands such as Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Palau.

Dogtooth Tuna habitat

This species is reef-associated and oceanodromous, found offshore mainly around coral reefs, and may occur to depths of at least 300 m (Braud and Grand Perrin 1984). It is generally solitary or occurs in small schools of six or less. It preys on small schooling fishes such as Decapterus, Caesio, Nasio, Cirrhilabrus, Pterocaesio and adults may be ciguatoxic (Randall 1980).

Size at first maturity is 65 cm  fork length (FL) (Lewis et al. 1983). Maximum Size is 247 cm FL. The all-tackle angling record is of a 104.32 kg fish caught off LeMorne, Mauritius in 1993 (IGFA 2011).

Dogtooth Tuna threats

This is a minor commercial species that is caught mainly by pole-and-line, and is also caught in sport fisheries  There are no fisheries directed specifically at this species but it is regularly caught in small numbers mostly in artisanal fisheries with hand-lines, pole, and trolling during certain seasons in many parts of its range (Collette and Nauen 1983). Initial high catches are usually not maintained, perhaps because it is a solitary species and does not school.

Dogtooth Tuna's status