Frigate tuna
  • Auxis thazard
  • English Name : Frigate tuna
  • Local Name : Raagondi
  • Size : Common to 35 cm; max. 58 cm
  • Family : SCOMBRIDAE
  • Order : Perciformes
  • Distinctive Characters: Two dorsal fins, the first with 10-12 spines, separated from second by a large interspace, the second followed by 8 finlets. Anal fin followed by 7 finlets. Pectoral fin short but reaching past vertical line from anterior margin of scaleless area above corselet. Corselet narrow, no more than 5 scales wide under origin of second dorsal fin. A strong keel on each side of caudal fin base.
  • Colour: Bluish dorsally turning to deep blue on head, silvery white below. A pattern of 15 or more narrow, oblique to nearly horizontal, dark wavy lines in the scaleless area above the lateral line.
  • Habitat and Biology: Epipelagic; neritic as well as oceanic species. Forms large schools. Feeds on small pelagic fishes, planktonic crabs, shrimps and stomatopod larvae.
  • Distribution: Tropical and temperate waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
  • Remarks: Auxis thazard is a major fishery in the Maldives. It is third in importance in terms of catch after skipjack and yellowfin tuna. Caught mainly by pole and line, but also by trolling. It is not as a popular food fish as skipjack, perhaps because of its small size, boniness, and possible confusion with the poisonous “raagondi koli” (see page 372).