Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Crevalle Jack

(Caranx hippos)

Habitat and Distribution: Found in tropical and subtropical waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Size: Up to 4 feet long and 50 pounds; females are typically larger than males.

Wild Diet: Small fish, shrimp and other invertebrates

Predators: Humans, marlin and seabirds

Lifespan: Unknown

Reproduction: Crevalle jacks are known to spawn in both tropical and subtropical environments. Females release eggs and males release sperm directly into the water. The sperm fertilizes any eggs it encounters; this is known as broadcast spawning. Fertilized eggs are planktonic, meaning that they float freely until hatching. Young are often found in estuaries and move farther offshore to the open sea as they get older.

Behavior: Crevalle jacks are usually found in fast-moving schools, though adults may be solitary or move in pairs. They hunt in schools by cornering smaller fish at the surface or against a seawall. They can tolerate different levels of salt water. They create splashes that can be seen from great distances.

Conservation

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Currently, there is no reason to believe this species is in danger, though they are a favorite of sport fisherman.

Did you know?

For protection in open water, vulnerable young crevalle jacks use a behavior called "piloting" in which they stay within inches of a larger fish. If no large fish are around, they will shadow buoys, boats, or swimmers.