Friday 17 May
Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)
Cobia fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
With a broad, depressed head, elongated body, and powerful tail fin, the cobia (Rachycentron canadum) is often mistaken for a shark, but it is actually a member of an order of fish known as perches (Perciformes) (3). This unusual, yet distinctive fish is also the sole member of the family Rachycentridae (4).
The cobia is dark brown, with a creamy underside and two silver or bronze lines streaking along its side (3) (4). It has a reduced first dorsal fin comprised of numerous small spines, and a more elongated second dorsal fin and anal fin, which both run half the length of the body (4). This carnivorous fish also has a large mouth armed with an array of small teeth, and a swollen lower-lip that protrudes past the upper-lip (5) (6).
- Also known as
- Black kingfish. Top
World Fisheries Trust:
- Anal fin
- In fish, an unpaired fin on the under surface of a fish, behind the anus.
- Feeding on flesh.
- Diverse group of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps and barnacles.
- Dorsal fin
- The unpaired fin found on the back of the body of fish, or the raised structure on the back of most cetaceans.
- The fusion of gametes (male and female reproductive cells) to produce an embryo, which grows into a new individual.
- Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
- The production or depositing of large quantities of eggs in water.
- Tiny aquatic animals that drift with currents or swim weakly in water.
UNEP-WCMC (October, 2010)
FishBase - Cobia (October, 2010)
- Schultz, K. (2010) Ken Schultz’s Essentials of Fishing: The Only Guide you Need to Catch Freshwater and Saltwater Fish. John Wiley & Sons Inc, New Jersey, USA.
- Van der Elst, R. (1993) A Guide to the Common Sea Fishes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa.
- McEachran, J.D. and Fechhelm, J.D. (2005) Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico: Volume 2. University of Texas Press, Texas, USA.
- Randall, J.E. (1995) Coastal Fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press, Hawaii, USA.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (United Nations) - Cobia (October, 2010)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
In the western Atlantic, shoals of mature adult cobia spawn during the warmer months. During this event, the female cobia releases an extraordinarily large amount of eggs, and the male releases sperm for external fertilisation (2) (4). The fertilised eggs are dispersed by ocean currents, and the resulting larvae float passively in the ocean currents as part of the zooplankton community (2). Juvenile cobia hide amongst sea-grass to feed and shelter from predators (7).Top
The cobia is distributed in warm ocean waters worldwide, excluding the central and eastern Pacific Ocean (2).Top
Occurring in a range of marine environments, the cobia is found over coral reefs, off rocky shores, over mud, sand and gravel bottoms, around drifting or stationary objects such as rigs, and occasionally in estuaries (2) (3) (4). It is found at depths of up to 18 metres (3).Top
The Cobia has yet to be classified by the IUCN.Top
With a worldwide distribution, the cobia does not appear to be under any immediate threat of extinction. It is, however, an important fish in aquaculture, particularly in China, Taiwan and the USA, where huge stocks of cobia are farmed in large tanks. Initially a vast number of individuals are taken out of the ocean to establish a captive population, but this population then creates all further generations for the industry, and so is self sufficient (7). The cobia is also a popular game fish due to its delicious taste and habit of swimming near to the surface around man-made structures and boats (2) (3) (4).Top
There are currently no known specific conservation plans targeting the cobia.Top
Find out more
For more information on fish conservation:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.