Spotted Mackerel, Scomberomorus munroi Collette & Russo 1980

Other Names: Australian Spotted Mackerel, Japanese Spanish Mackerel, Munro's Spanish Mackerel, Munro's Spanish-mackerel, Spotted Spanish Mackerel, Spotties, Spotty

A Spotted Mackerel, Scomberomorus munroi, from north of Noosa, Queensland, May 2010. Source: Kevin Long / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial


A long, slender bluish-green to silvery-grey mackerel with indistinct rows of large round spots along the sides, pectoral fins with a dark blue inner surface, and a bright steely blue membrane on the first dorsal fin (fading to black after capture).

The Spotted Mackerel is known for its southerly migration down the Queensland coast during summer - referred to as the "spotty run".

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & S. Schultz, Scomberomorus munroi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Spotted Mackerel, Scomberomorus munroi Collette & Russo 1980

More Info


Known in Australian waters from the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, to Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. Found elsewhere in southern Papua New Guinea. An epipelagic, neritic species, usually found in open offshore waters away from reefs, although known to follow baitfish inshore. Large schools move close inshore down the Queensland coast during summer. Depth range 0-50 m.


Meristic features:
Dorsal-fin rays: XX-XXII, 17-19 + 8-10 finlets
Anal-fin rays: 15-16 + 7-9 finlets
Pectoral-fin rays: 21-23
Vertebrae: 12
Gill rakers: 10-12

Body elongate and strongly compressed. Both jaws with a single series of 5-38 sharp triangular teeth. Body covered in small scales, no anterior corselet present. A single lateral line gradually curving downward to caudal peduncle. Caudal peduncle with well-developed keel, flanked on each side by a smaller keel. Dorsal fins separated by a narrow space. Swim bladder absent.


To at least 104 cm FL, and 10.2 kg. Females grow faster and reach a larger size than males.


Bluish-green above, sides silvery blue, cheek and belly silvery-white; several poorly-defined indistinct rows of spots along sides; first dorsal fin completely black or dark-bluish, lacking a white patch; inner surface of pectoral fin dark blue; anal fin and finlets pale silvery-grey.


Carnivore - feeds mostly on clupeids and anchovies, also on squid and prawns.


Females mature between 45 and 50 cm FL, males between 40 and 45 cm FL, before two years of age. On the east coast, spawning occurs offshore in northern Queensland during winter and spring, from August to October, with peak spawning in September. After spawning large schools head inshore and migrate southwards over summer. 

Larvae and eggs are dispersed southwards by currents.


Although not targeted commercially, is taken as bycatch in the Spanish Mackerel fishery. Spotted Mackerel are taken by recreational fishers while trolling lures, most commonly from December to May - although not a common catch.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Near Threatened
  • Similar Species

    Has smaller spots along the sides than the School Mackerel, Scomberomorus queenslandicus.


    Named in honour of the Australian ichthyologist Dr Ian S.R. Munro.

    Species Citation

    Scomberomorus munroi Collette & Russo 1980, Aust. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 31(2): 243, Fig. 1a. Type locality: Deception Bay, north of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


    Dianne J. Bray & S. Schultz

    Spotted Mackerel, Scomberomorus munroi Collette & Russo 1980


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    Begg, G.A. & G.A. Hopper. 1997. Feeding patterns of school mackerel (Scomberomorus queenslandicus) and spotted mackerel (S. munroi) in Queensland east-coast waters. Marine and Freshwater Research 48: 565-571.

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    Collette, B.B. 2001. Scombridae. pp. 3721-3756 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. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

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    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37441015

    Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

    Danger:Reports of ciguatera poisoning

    Depth:0-50 m

    Fishing:Commercial and gamefish


    Max Size:104 cm FL; 10.2 kg

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    Species Maps

    CAAB distribution map