Giant Trevally – Habitat

The giant trevally inhabits a very wide range of offshore and inshore marine environments, with the species also known to tolerate the low salinity waters of estuaries and rivers.

It is a semi-pelagic fish known to spend time throughout the water column, but is mostly demersal in nature.

The species is most common in shallow coastal waters in a number of environments including coral and rocky reefs and shorefaces, lagoons, embayments, tidal flats and channels. They commonly move between reef patches, often over large expanses of deeper sand and mud bottoms between the reefs.[21][22] Older individuals tend to move to deeper seaward reefs, bomboras and drop-offs away from the protection of fringing reefs, often to depths greater than 80 m.[23][24]

Large individuals however do often return to these shallower waters as they patrol their range, often to hunt or reproduce.[24] In Hawaii, the juvenile to subadult giant trevally are the most common large carangids in the protected inshore waters, with all other species apparently preferring the outer, less protected reefs.[25] It is also easily attracted to artificial reefs, where studies have found it to be one of the predominant species around these structures in Taiwan.[26]

Juvenile to sub-adult giant trevally are known to enter and inhabit estuaries, the upper reaches of rivers and coastal lakes in several locations including South Africa,[27] Solomon Islands,[28] Phillipines,[29] India,[30] Taiwan,[31] Thailand,[32] northern Australia[33] and Hawaii.[21] In some of these locations, such as Australia, it is a common and relatively abundant inhabitant,[28] while in others including South Africa and Hawaii, it is much rarer in estuaries.[21] The species has a wide salinity tolerance, as evident from the ranges juvenile and subadult fish in South African estuaries have been recorded from; 0.5 to 38 ‰,[34] with other studies also showing tolerance levels of less than 1 ‰.[27] In these estuaries, the giant trevally is known from both highly turbid, dirty water to clean, high visibility waters, however in most cases the species prefers the turbid waters.[21] It appears younger fish actively seek out these turbid waters, and when no estuaries are present they live in the turbid inshore waters of bays and beaches. These young fish eventually move to inshore reefs as they mature, before again moving to deeper outer reefs.[25]


Giant trevally. (2009, December 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.


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