Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares
Taxonomy Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Scombridae Thunnus albacares
Description & Behavior
Yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788), are members of the family Scombridae which includes: albacore, bonito, mackerel and tuna. Additional scientific names (synonyms) include: Kishinoella zacalles (Jordan and Evermann, 1926), Neothunnus macropterus (Temminck and Schlegel, 1844), Neothunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788), Neothunnus catalinae (Jordan and Evermann, 1926) and Scomber albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788). Yellowfin tuna reach a total length of 2.08 m and a maximum weight of 200 kg. The average life span is 8 years. They have very long dorsal and anal fins, and moderately long pectoral fins.
Yellowfin tuna are black to dark blue in color with a yellow or silver belly. Their dorsal fin, anal fins and finlets are bright yellow.
Yellowfin tuna are extremely fast swimmers reaching speeds up to 80 kph. They are able to streamline their body for faster swimming by folding their fins into special indentations.
World Range & Habitat
Yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, travel long distances. Migratory patterns have shown distances traveled from the US Pacific Coast to Japan. They are pelagic fish found from 1-250 m deep. They can be found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas with the exception of the Mediterranean Sea.
Feeding Behavior (Ecology)
The peak spawning period for yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, occurs during summer months; however spawning also occurs throughout the year. Eggs are fertilized externally after mating when they are released into the water.
Conservation Status & Comments
Yellowfin tunas, Thunnus albacares, are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:
NEAR THREATENED (NT) - A taxon is Near Threatened when it has been evaluated against the criteria but does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable now, but is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify
for a threatened category in the near future.
References & Further Research
Research Thunnus albacares » Barcode of Life ~ BioOne ~ Biodiversity Heritage Library ~ CITES ~ Cornell Macaulay Library [audio / video] ~ Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) ~ ESA Online Journals ~ FishBase ~ Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department ~ GBIF ~ Google Scholar ~ ITIS ~ IUCN RedList (Threatened Status) ~ Marine Species Identification Portal ~ NCBI (PubMed, GenBank, etc.) ~ Ocean Biogeographic Information System ~ PLOS ~ SIRIS ~ Tree of Life Web Project ~ UNEP-WCMC Species Database ~ WoRMS
Feedback & Citation
Start or join a discussion about this species below or send us an email to report any errors or submit suggestions for this page. We greatly appreciate all feedback!
Help Protect and Restore Ocean Life
Help us protect and restore marine life by supporting our various online community-centered marine conservation projects that are effectively sharing the wonders of the ocean with millions each year around the world, raising a balanced awareness of the increasingly troubling and often very complex marine conservation issues that affect marine life and ourselves directly, providing support to marine conservation groups on the frontlines that are making real differences today, and the scientists, teachers and students involved in the marine life sciences. Join us today or show your support with a monthly donation.
With your support, most marine life and their ocean habitats can be protected, if not restored to their former natural levels of biodiversity. We sincerely thank our thousands of members, donors and sponsors, who have decided to get involved and support the MarineBio Conservation Society.