Yellowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi Valenciennes 1833

Other Names: Albacore, Amberjack, Bandit, Californian Yellowtail, Hoodlum, Kahu, King Amberjack, Kingfish, Kingie, Silver King, Southern Yellowtail, Tasmanian Yellowtail, Yellowtail, Yellowtail Amberjack, Yellow-tail Kingfish, Yellow-tail King-fish

A Yellowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi, at the Solitary Islands, New South Wales. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC By Attribution


A large active pelagic fish with a slender streamlined body tapering to a narrow caudal peduncle with a strongly forked tail. Dark blue to greenish-blue above, silvery-white below, with a yellowish tail and a yellow stripe from the snout through the eye and along the midline of the body.

Video of Yellowtail Kingfish schooling around the EX-HMAS Brisbane off Mooloolaba Sunshine Coast QLD Australia

Video of Yellowtail Kingfish Spawning

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Seriola lalandi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2024,

Yellowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi Valenciennes 1833

More Info


Circumglobal on the continental shelf in subtropical and temperate seas. In Australian waters, Yellowtail Kingfish are known from the Capricorn Group, Queensland, around southern Australia, to about Shark Bay, Western Australia, inclduing southeastern Tasmania. The species is common around Lord Howe Island region and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea.

Yellowtail Kingfish are pelagic or benthopelagic in coastal, inshore and offshore waters usually in depths between 0-50 m, although they have been taken below 300 metres. Adults often form large shoals around deep reefs and rocky outcrops in coastal areas and around pinnacles and offshore islands. They are also found in bays and harbours around jetties and pylons.

Young fish to about 7 kg often form huge schools of several hundred individuals and sometimes enter estuaries. Very small fish are rarely seen as they often live well-offshore, seeking shelter around floating algae and debris.

For the past two decades, Yellowtail Kingfish were reportedly rare in Victorian waters outside Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Recently, however, Victorian anglers have seen increased numbers in central Victorian waters near Port Phillip Heads. The species is also regularly seen in eastern Tasmania during warmer months.


Body fusiform - long, slender, somewhat compressed tapering to a narrow caudal peduncle, scutella lacking from caudal peduncle, caudal fin (tail) strongly forked. Maxilla reaching to below front of pupil. Dorsal fin height in adults slightly less than length of pectoral fin. Scales very smooth, cycloid.


To 2.50 metres, commonly to 1 metre in length; maximum weight 96.8 kg. Yellowtail Kingfish may reach 12 years of age.


Adult Yellowtail Kingfish have a counter-shading colour pattern to avoid being seen by predators and prey. They are dark blue to greenish-blue on top, shading to almost white below, often with a distinct yellow to bronze line between the two colours passing through the eye to the yellowish tail. Juveniles are yellow with black bands.


Yellowtail Kingfish are active predatory carnivores and feed mostly on small fishes, squid and crustaceans - including gastropods, bivalves, cuttlefish, squid, crabs, prawns and krill.


The sexes are separate and fertilization is external. Yellowtail Kingfish spawn during spring and summer. Larvae and juveniles grow rapidly, reaching 2-3kg in their first year. Females mature between 5-7 years of age, when they measure about 80-130cm. Males mature between about 75-95cm.

The eggs are 1mm in diameter, are buoyant and have a single oil droplet.

A video clip of Yellowtail Kingfish Spawning


This very popular and highly prized gamefish supports significant commercial and recreational fisheries throughout its range. The species is also aquacultured in some areas.

In the late 1990's an aquaculture industry based on Yellowtail Kingfish was developed in South Australia. Fingerlings produced a hatcheries in Port Augusta and Arno Bay, Spencer Gulf, are grown out in sea cages at fish farms in the Gulf. Individuals weighing 5kg are harvested after about 2 years.


Yellowtail Kingfish populations in the Tasman Sea are closely related and comprise a single stock.

Similar Species

Yellowtail Kingfish are the only species in the family Carangidae without a scutella on the caudal peduncle.


The species is named lalandi after Monsieur de Lalande, a naturalist who first made Valenciennes aware of this species.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Yellowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi Valenciennes 1833


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37337006

Behaviour:Pelagic around reefs, dropoffs

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-50 m

Fishing:Commercial & sports fish

Max Size:250 cm TL; 96.8 kg

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CAAB distribution map