Oxeye Scad, Selar boops (Cuvier 1833)

Other Names: Ox-eye Scad

Oxeye Scad, Selar boops. Source: Dennis Polack / FishWise Professional. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A bluish-green scad becoming silvery to golden below, with a broad yellow stripe from the upper rear of the eye to the tail base, a small black spot near the rear of the gill cover, dusky dorsal and anal-fin lobes with white tips, a very large eye, and large scutes on the caudal peduncle. The straight part of lateral line is about 2 to 3 times longer that the curved part. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Selar boops in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Dec 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2987

Oxeye Scad, Selar boops (Cuvier 1833)

More Info


Kendrew Island, Western Australia, around the tropical north to about Townsville, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is widespread and common in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific (one record from east Atlantic) in depths to 500m.

The Oxeye Scad is pelagic in coastal waters, often over soft bottom areas or seagrass beds and occasionally rocky and coral reefs. Individuals form large dense schools during the day, and disperse to feed at night.


Dorsal fin VIII + I + 23-25; Anal fin II + I + 19-21; Gill rakers (including rudiments) 8-10 upper, 25-29 lower (first gill arch); Lateral line 21-24 scales + 0-4 scutes (curved part), and 37-46 scutes (straight part).

Teeth small, recurved, those of upper jaw in a narrow band, tapering posteriorly; lower jaw with an irregular single row of teeth. Shoulder girdle (cleithrum) margin with two papillae: a relatively large papilla ventrally and a smaller papilla near upper edge. 
Spinous dorsal fin relatively high, longest spine about equal to length of soft dorsal fin lobe.
Lateral line curving steeply downward below origin of soft dorsal fin, with straight row of scutes extending for more than half body length.


Feeds at night on planktonic and benthic crustaceans (crabs and shrimps) and small fishes. 


Fished commercially in parts of its range.


Selar boops co-occurs with the Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus in northern Australia.

Similar Species

The similar Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus, differs in having 48–56 scales in the curved part of the lateral line (vs. 21–24 scales in S. boops), moderate sized scutes on the caudal peduncle (vs. large scutes) and the curved part of lateral line roughly equal in length to the straight part, 0.7 to 1.2 times in straight part (vs. 2.1 to 3 times in the straight part). 


The specific name boops is from bo (= ox) and ops (= eye) in reference to the large eyes of this species (Scharpf & Lazara 2020).

Species Citation

Caranx boops Cuvier, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1833, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons Vol. 9: 46. Type locality: Ambon Island, Molucca Islands, Indonesia; Vanikoro Island, Santa Cruz Islands, southwestern Pacific.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Oxeye Scad, Selar boops (Cuvier 1833)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

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Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

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Bleeker, P. 1851. Over eenige nieuwe geslachten en soorten van Makreelachtige visschen van den Indischen Archipel. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 1: 341-372 

Castelnau, F.L. de 1875. Researches on the fishes of Australia. Intercolonial Exhibition Essays. 2. pp. 1–52 in, Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 : Official Record. Melbourne. (described as Carang gervaisi) See ref online

Cuvier, G.L. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1833. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 9 512 pp. pls 246-279. See ref at BHL

Dy-Ali, E. 1988. Growth, mortality, recruitment and exploitation rate of Selar boops in Davao Gulf, Philippines. FAO Fisheries Report 389:346-355.

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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. doi: 10.3853/j.0812-7387.12.1990.92

Hutubessy, G. 2011. Encircling gillnet selectivity for oxeye scad (Selar boops Curvier, 1833) in the coast of Waai, Ambon Island. Journal of Coastal Development 14(2): 125-130.

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 1. Eels- Snappers, Muraenidae - Lutjanidae. Australia : Zoonetics 302 pp.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

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Scharpf, C. & Lazara, K.J. 2020. Order Carangiformes, Part 1. in The ETYFish Project: Fish Name Etymology Database, accessed 13 September 2020, http://www.etyfish.org/carangiformes1/

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., Bauchot, M.L. & Desoutter, M. 1979. Catalogue critique des types de Poissons du Muséum National d'Histoire naturelle (Suite) (Familles des Carangidae et des Nematistiidae). Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris 4(1): 1-66

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Williams, I. 2016. Selar boops (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T18158262A115368272. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T18158262A65927919.en. Downloaded on 11 May 2020.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37337008

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:20-500 m

Habitat:Pelagic, soft bottoms areas, seagrass

Max Size:26 cm TL

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