Smallspotted dart
  • Trachinotus baillonii
  • EnglishName: Smallspotted dart
  • Local Name : Goru vaali
  • Size : Max. 54 cm
  • Family: Order : Specimen
  • Distinctive Characters: First dorsal fin with 6 spines, second dorsal fin with 1 spine and 20-24 rays. Anal fin with 2 detached spines followed by 1 spine and 20-24 rays. Gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch (including rudiments) 15-19. Body elongate to oval and strongly compressed. Dorsal fin lobe consistently shorter than anal fin lobe in larger specimens.
  • Colour: Adults silvery blue to grey above, silvery white below. Sides with 1-5 small black spots in a longitudinal row on or near lateral line (usually equal or smaller than eye). Spots absent in juveniles. Second dorsal, anal and caudal fins grey to black, lobes usually darkest.
  • Habitat and Biology: Occurs in surge zone along sandy beaches, often in very shallow waters. Usually seen in small schools. Feeds on small fishes.
  • Distribution: Widely distributed in Indo-West Pacific.
  • Remarks: Trachinotus baillonii is commonly found in small groups in lagoons and besides shallow reefs. On sunny days its silver colouration makes it almost invisible as it swims above the white sand.