Kawakawa (Euthynnus affinis) is a species of ray-finned bony fish in the family Scombridae.

It’s also called wavyback skipjack tuna, little tuna, mackerel tuna, or tongkol.

This fish species is found throughout the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea to French Polynesia.

A small number of stray specimens have also been found in the Eastern Central Pacific region.

In Australia, this fish can be predominantly found on the central coast of Western Australia, up along the tropical north, and down to southern New South Wales.


Given below is the scientific classification of kawakawa:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Scombriformes

Family: Scombridae

Genus: Euthynnus

Species Scientific Name: Euthynnus affinis

Kawakawa Appearance

Kawakawa has a long, robust, fusiform body, and its back is dark blue with stripes.

The lower sides and belly are silvery white in color, and there may be some dark spots between the pelvic and pectoral fins.

Its teeth are small and cone-shaped, and it has 29 to 34 gill rakers on its first gill arch.

Kawakawa also has two dorsal fins that are separated by a narrow space, as well as pectoral fins that don’t reach the space between the dorsal fins.

Lastly, it has a slender caudal peduncle with a lateral keel at the base of its caudal fin.

Kawakawa grows up to 45 to 60 cm long.

In addition to its physical appearance, kawakawa displays the same swimming mechanics as true tunas (Donley and Dickson, 2000).

However, kawakawa doesn’t have a swim bladder.

Kawakawa also differs from true tunas in how its red muscle is distributed, as well as its allometry and vascular anatomy (Bernal et al., 2017).

Here’s what this fish looks like…


Kawakawa Lifespan

Not much is known about the lifespan of kawakawa. So it’s difficult to say how long this fish lives.

From what is known, this fish reaches maturity at 3 years old.

Kawakawa Feeding Habits

Kawakawa is an opportunistic predator that feeds on small fishes, squids, crustaceans, and zooplankton.

Kawakawa Temperament

Not much is known about the temperament of kawakawa fish.

Kawakawa in Aquarium Trade

Kawakawa isn’t found in the aquarium trade.

Perhaps because of the fact that it’s very popular in the commercial market.

Interesting Facts About Kawakawa

Kawakawa prefers to stay close to shorelines and can be found in waters with temperatures between 64.4°F and 84.2°F (18°C and 29°C).

Kawakawa fish typically form large schools from 100 to over 5000 with other scombrid species.

This fish is often sold in the commercial market as a canned or frozen product and used dried, salted, smoked, or fresh.

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