This species is, as a juvenile, a bright yellow to silver coloration with vertical black bars and dark yellow fins – it fades to a lighter silver color as an adult, with much fainter or no bars. It can be found on reefs and lagoons from the Indo-Pacific to the eastern Pacific, and it feeds on smaller fish and a variety of invertebrates. It is know for its habit of swimming close to sharks and other large fish in order to deter potential predators. It may also approach scuba divers.
  • Size

    3.6 feet (110 cm)
  • Diet

    Small fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates
  • Range

    Throughout the Indo-Pacific and in the Eastern Pacific
  • Habitat

    Deep lagoons and seaward reefs

Physical Characteristics


  • Adult golden trevally can reach 3.6 feet (110 cm) in length.

Body Composition

  • The species has thick and fleshy lips and a tall crescent-shaped caudal fin.


  • The color of the juvenile and young adult golden trevally is bright yellow to silvery with alternating broad and narrow black bars. The fins are yellow.
  • The adults are silver in color and have a few black blotches or spots on their sides. If bars are present, they are very faint.


Animal Fact

Small juveniles of the golden trevally species will sometimes live among the tentacles of certain jellies.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of small fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates.

Range / Habitat


  • Occurs throughout the Indo-Pacific and in the Eastern Pacific from the southwestern coast of Baja California and the Gulf of California to Ecuador.


  • Found in deep lagoons and seaward reefs at depths to about 33 feet (10 m).

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • The small juvenile golden trevally will live among the tentacles of jellyfish.
  • Juveniles and adults form schools.
  • Noted for its behavior of swimming closely around sharks and other large fish to gain protection from likely predators. It will also swim close to divers.
  • Golden trevally is commercially fished in small numbers and sold fresh, dried or salted.
  • Raised in fish farms for food and the aquarium trade.


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