Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus (Bloch 1793)

Other Names: Big-eye Scad, Goggle-eyed Scad, Purse-eye Scad, Purse-eyed Scad

A Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus. Source: Rick Winterbottom / FishWise Professional. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

The curved part of the lateral line is approximately equal in length to the straight section.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Selar crumenophthalmus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Jul 2024,

Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus (Bloch 1793)

More Info


Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Forster, New South Wales; also in the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species is circumglobal in warm temperate and tropical waters.

Prefers clear oceanic waters around islands, also occurs inshore, including in turbid waters. A nocturnal species that forms large schools during the day, dispersing at night to feed.


Usually feeds at night on large planktonic animals, including small fishes. Juveniles mostly consume crustaceans (euphasiids, decapods).


Taken with hook and line, beach seines, trawls, purse seines and traps in parts of its range.

Similar Species

Differs from the Oxeye Scad, Selar boops, 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 crumenophthalmus is from the Latin crumena (= purse, bag) and ophthalmos (= eye) in reference to the adipose eyelid that covers most of the eye, leaving just a vertical slit over the pupil - presumably resembling the opening of a purse.

Species Citation

Scomber crumenophthalmus Bloch 1793, Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische: 77. Type locality: Guinea, West Africa.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus (Bloch 1793)


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

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

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. 

Bloch, M.E. 1793. Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische. Berlin : J. Morino Vol. 7 144 pp. pls 324-360. Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. 

Clarke, T.A. & Privitera, L.A. 1995. Reproductive biology of two Hawaiian pelagic carangid fishes, the Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus, and Round Scad, Decapterus macarellus. Bulletin of Marine Science 56(1): 33-47.

Francis, M.P. 2019. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. figshare. Collection.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20: 1-172 [published as separates 1956–1961] 

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.

Roos, D., Roux, O. & Conand, F. 2007. Notes of the biology of the bigeye scad, Selar crunelophthalmus (Carangidae) around Reunion Island, southwest Indian Ocean. Scientia Marina 71(1): 137-144.  

Roux, O. & Conand, F. 2000. Feeding habits of the Bigeye Scad, Selar crumenophthalmus (Carangidae), in La Reunion Island waters (southwestern Indian Ocean). Cybium 24(2): 173-179.

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2 

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & 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., Brown, J., Curtis, M. & Pina Amargos, F. 2015. Selar crumenophthalmus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T190388A115316971. Downloaded on 09 April 2020.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37337009

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-170 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:27 cm SL

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