JACK · ulua
Carangoides ferdau (Forsskål, 1775)
Seven dark bars, sometimes faint, identify these jacks. Typically the body is bluish silver, often with tiny, scattered, black-centered gold spots on the upper sides. Some individuals temporarily darken the entire body to almost black. (Juvenile Whitetongue Jacks are similar, with seven broad dark bars that can lighten or darken. However, their dorsal and anal fins are low and do not sweep back to a point as they do in this species.) Barred Jacks typically roam in small schools over sand or rubble bottoms adjacent to the reef. They feed on bottom-dwelling crustaceans and small fishes. Although the species is uncommon in Hawai`i, snorkelers can often see small groups these fish hunting in shallow water inside the reef at Hanauma Bay, O`ahu. They sometimes follow foraging Bonefish or Bandtail Goatfish to consume on scraps uncovered by these bottom-feeders. Juveniles sometimes shelter among the tentacles of large pelagic jellyfish. To about 21 in. Indo-Pacific. Photo: Hanauma Bay, O`ahu. 25 ft.
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Text and photos copyright by John P. Hoover