Caranx ruber

Within the order Carangiformes, and the family Carangidae, we find the species Caranx ruber, also known as the bar jack. This species inhabits the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, on its eastern side (St. Helena and Ascension Islands), as well as on the west coast (from Bermuda and New Jersey to Brazil). Specimens of this species can be observed from shallow waters up to 150 meters deep.

The body of Caranx ruber is elongated and moderately laterally compressed. They can reach sizes of up to 50 cm in total length and up to 7 kg in weight. In the head, we highlight moderate-sized eyes with a visible adipose eyelid around them. The upper jaw does not reach the vertical formed by the anterior margin of the eyes. Both jaws have a band of small teeth. As for fins, Caranx ruber has two dorsal fins, a first one formed by 8 spines, followed by a second one formed by 1 spine and 26-30 soft rays. It also has two anal fins close together, the first consisting of 2 spines, and the second consisting of 1 spine and 23-26 soft rays. The dorsal and anal fin lobes are slightly more elongated in the anterior part. The pectoral fins are relatively long, and their length is greater than the equivalent of the length of the head of the specimen. On both sides of the caudal peduncle we find a pair of keels. The caudal fin is strongly forked.

The body color of Caranx ruber is silver with an electric blue stripe running from the snout along the dorsal part of the body to the caudal peduncle. We find a dark stripe that extends along the dorsal part of the specimen and after the caudal peduncle continues along the lower lobe of the caudal fin. The ventral part of the body has whitish reflections. In juveniles, it is common to observe 6 dark vertical stripes on the body.

Caranx ruber is a species that is frequently observed forming small schools in crystal clear and shallow waters associated with reefs. Occasionally we can see the specimens in solitary form. Juveniles of this species are frequently associated with Sargassum algae. As for the diet of this species, the main component of its diet consists of small fish, crustaceans and invertebrates.

During the months of February to August is when the spawning of this species occurs. This phenomenon usually occurs in offshore waters.