Gymnosarda unicolor   (Ruppell,  1836) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Teresa (Zubi) Zuberbuhler

Size: 248 cm

Weight: 131 kg

Color: The back and upper sides brilliant blue-black, lower sides and belly silvery; no lines, spots or other markings on the body. Dark blue along the back and sides above the level of pectorals but silvery white below. First dorsal bluish green, other fins and finlets dusky blue, except distal portions of second dorsal and anal which are white.

Body is robust, stout in front but comparatively slender behind, elongated and round in cross-section. Snout pointed. preopercle striated and notched. Head longer than depth of body. Lower jaw large, teeth on both jaws conical, those on palatines and tongue villiform, and vomers edentulous. Mouth fairly large, upper jaw reaching to middle of eye. Laminae of olfactory rosette 48 to 56. Interpelvic process large and single. Corselet short. Lateral line arched over pectoral and posteriorly undulated. First dorsal large, its third spine the longest; second dorsal short and separated from the first dorsal by a distance about half diameter of the eye. First dorsal and anal concave on their posterior borders. Caudal with a median and paired lateral keels. Gill rakers few. Body naked posterior to corselet. Swim bladder large, spleen visible in ventral view on the right side of the body. Dorsal spines (total): 13 - 15; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12 - 14; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 12 - 13; Vertebrae: 38. Maxilla reaching to vertical below middle of the orbit; teeth conical, well developed on both the jaws, villiform on palatines and tongue, absent on vomer; corselet small with scales elongate; lateral line wavy behind; first dorsal with gradually sloping margin, with third spine the longest; pectoral shorter than head; second dorsal and anal concave on posterior border. The corselet scales above the pectoral are covered by the skin so that the body appears totally scaleless. The lower jaw is slightly deeper and prominent and the teeth on both jaws are well developed and conspicuous.

The species is heterosexual. Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders of eggs, open water or substratum egg scatterers.

Synonym (s)
Gymnosarda nuda (Gunther, 1860)
(Junior synonym)
Gymnosarda unicolor (Ruppell, 1836)
(Senior synonym)
Pelamys nuda Gunther, 1860
(Junior synonym)
Scomber vau Curtiss, 1938
(Junior synonym)
Thynnus unicolor Ruppell, 1836
(Senior synonym)
Thynnus unicolor Ruppell, 1838
Gymnosarda nuda Kishinouye, 1915
Gymnosarda unicolor Fowler, 1949
Thynnus (Pelamys) unicolour Ruppell, 1835
Gymnosarda unicolor Jones and Silas, 1960

Common Name (s)
• Dogtooth Tuna (English)
• Pallan Choora (Malayalam)
• Vori Kannali
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, gamefish. Marketed canned and frozen.
Causes ciguatera poisoning.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Preys on small schooling fishes such as Decapterus, Caesio, Nasio, Cirrhilabrus, Pterocaesio and squids.


• Andaman Sea INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA (Record: 1995-1999)
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Red Sea
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andamans INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep Sea INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Starfish Available at -
  • Bal, DV and Rao, KV (1984) Marine fisheries Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited 470 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Sivadas, M and Anasukoya, A (2005) On the fishery and some aspects of the biology of dogtooth tuna, Gymnosarda unicolor (Ruppell) from Minicoy, Lakshadweep Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 47(1) 111-113 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 4 Available at -
  • Nair, RV; Rao, KV and Dorairaj, K (1970) The tunas and tuna-like fishes of India Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 23 1-110 Available at -
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -
  • Jones, S and Silas, EG (1960) Indian tunas—A preliminary review, with a key for their identification Indian Journal of Fisheries CMFRI 7 (2) 369-393 Available at -
  • Jones, S; Silas, EG and Dawson, E (1960) New records of scombroid fishes from the Andaman-Nicobar waters Journal of the marine biological association of India The marine biological association of India 2(1) 130-133 Available at -
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Indian Mackerel, Rastrelliger kanagurta (Cuv) Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Coastal Fishery Resources in Countries Bordering Indian Ocean Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-18

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