Cottonmouth Trevally, Uraspis secunda Poey 1860

Other Names: Basset-hull's Trevally, Cottonmouth Jack

Cottonmouth Trevally, Uraspis secunda. Source: Mickey Charteris / Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information, License: CC by Attribution

A dark to silvery bluish-black trevally, with a white tongue, roof and floor of mouth, and a scaleless area on the breast that extends about halfway to the pectoral-fin base. Juveniles have a series of broad dark bands with narrow pale interspaces, and sometimes two rows of pale dashes along side.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Uraspis secunda in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Dec 2020,

Cottonmouth Trevally, Uraspis secunda Poey 1860

More Info


Known from scattered localities in Australia, from Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Lakes Entrance, Victoria.
Individuals or small schools are mostly pelagic in oceanic waters, although they do occur near the bottom, often around islands. Juveniles may shelter around jellyfish.


Dorsal fin VII + I,27-32; Anal fin II+I,19-23; Gill rakers 3-8 + 13-16; .

Body oblong, moderately compressed; snout rounded; mouth reaching to below front part of eye; teeth small, pointed, curved, in bands in small fish, in a single row in large fish.
First dorsal-fin a low triangle, posterior spines may become embedded with growth; anal-fin spines reduced or absent, first two spines embedded in all but small juveniles; pectoral fins curved, longer than head; caudal peduncle slender, caudal fin strongly forked.
Lateral line distinctly arched anteriorly; curved part of lateral line with 48-66 scales, somewhat shorter than the following straight part, straight part with 26-40 scutes, those at rear pointing forwards. Scales absent on breast and pectoral-fin base; operculum partly scaled. 


h; gill rakers (excluding rudiments) 3-8 + 13-16; dorsal rays VIII+I, 27-32, first dorsal a low triangle, posterior spines of first dorsal fin may become embedded with growth); anal rays II (embedded in all but very young fish) + I, 19-23; pectorals longer than head, curved; no isolated finlets behind dorsal and anal fins; anal spines reduced or absent; tail base slender; tail strongly forked; with 26-40 small scutes (hard, spiny scales) on straight part of lateral line, those at rear point forwards.


Body dusky, sometimes with 6 broad dark bars with narrow pale spaces between them; tongue, roof and floor of mouth white, remainder of mouth blue black. the body.

Similar Species

Differs from the Whitemouth Trevally, Uraspis uraspis, in the scaleless area on the breast that extends about half way to the pectoral-fin base in U. secunda (vs. extends to the pectoral-fin base in U. uraspis), and the curved part of the lateral line is usually shorter that the straight part with 48-66 scales in U. secunda, (vs. curved part of lateral line longer than the straight part, with 61-82 scales in U. uraspis).


The specific name is a Latinized version of the common name for this species in Cuba, the type locality.

Species Citation

Uraspis secunda Poey 1860, Memorias sobre la historia natural de la Isla de Cuba 2: 223. Type locality: Cuba.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Cottonmouth Trevally, Uraspis secunda Poey 1860


Gunn, J.S. 1990. A revision of selected genera of the family Carangidae (Pisces) from Australian waters. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 12: 1-77 

Johnson, G.D. 1978. Development of fishes of the Mid-Atlantic Bight. An atlas of egg, larval and juvenile stages. Vol. 4. Carangidae through Ephippidae. US Fish Wildl. Serv. Biol. Serv. Prog. FWS/OBS-78/12.  

McCulloch, A.R. 1909. Studies in Australian fishes, No. 2. Records of the Australian Museum 7(4): 315-321 fig. 18 pls 90-91. (described as Caranx hullianus)

Poey, F. 1860. Memorias sobre la Historia Natural de la Isla de Cuba, acompañadas de sumarios latinos y extractos en francés. 49. Poissons de Cuba, espèces nouvelles (1). pp. 115–336 Habana Vol. 2 442 pp. 19 pls. 

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1999. Family Carangidae. pp. 2659-2756 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F., Williams, J.T., Pina Amargos, F., Curtis, M. & Brown, J. 2015. Uraspis secunda (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T16507729A16510417. Downloaded on 12 March 2020.

Williams, F. 1961. On Uraspis wakiyai sp. nov. (Pisces, Carangidae), from the western Indian Ocean, with a review of the species of Uraspis Bleeker, 1855, S.S. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (13)4(38): 65-87.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37337059

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-200 m

Habitat:Oceanic, pelagic

Max Size:50 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map