The Dogtooth Tuna

Home » The species of the month » The Dogtooth Tuna

The Dogtooth tuna belongs to the family of Wahoo and other Mackerel tuna. You will encounter this species mainly in the deep sea. The lucky ones could also see it in the strong currents near the reefs.

The dogtooth tunaSometimes called White tuna or Gymnosarda unicolor by scientists and other experts, we much prefer its nickname of “Dogtooth tuna”. This name comes from its impressive jaw that presents large conical teeth. The White tuna can measures up to 8 ft and weighs around 290 lbs. This “shapely” body allows it to not fear of sharks. In spite of its large body, the dogtooth tuna can also go unnoticed in the ocean thanks to its body colors : dark blue for the upper body and silver on the flanks and the abdomen. In addition, it presents a small characteristic white spot on the top of the caudal fin. You can note that the males become blacker during the mating season in aim to seduce females.

The dogtooth tunaThe dogtooth tuna feeds on small fish as Glasseyes, Anthias and calmar. It catches them by surprise or by knocking them out (performing big jump over the water and falling back in the shoal). Its body is designed for speed with small powerful fins. It may reach a speed of 80km/h thanks to 6 fins and a large crescent-moon shaped tail.

Younger, the dogtooth tuna moves in small groups. It becomes gradually solitary reaching adulthood. It is a curious fish often intrigued by the divers. In fact, it can get closer to you attracted by the strange bubbles that you exhale.

“ Its body is designed for speed with small powerful fins. It may reach a speed of 80km/h thanks to 6 fins and a large crescent-moon shaped tail.

The dogtooth tunaHowever, the divers have to stay vigilant in contact with this tuna because it presents a row of spines (six or seven pinnules) just next to the anal and caudal fins; a useful “accessory” to temper the enthusiasm of intrepid divers.

The dogtooth tuna lives in the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean as deep as 330 ft depth. You could encounter this spectacular fish during dives in the Rangiroa and Fakarava atolls !

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recents articles

The Tiki – Moorea

Three Spanish friends joined me in Moorea for a few days of vacation. All excellent divers, I asked François (TOPDIVE Moorea center manager) to organize a beautiful dive for us for the occasion. Quite naturally, he proposed for us to discover the «...

The Great Barracuda

The Great barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) appears as the “giant” of the barracuda family. It measures around 6.5ft; it is the most impressive species in size. This long fish can weigh up to 110 Lbs. It has a silver-grey color that makes the species...

The Nurse shark

The Nurse shark is sometimes called the « Nebrius ferrugineus » or the ma’o rohoi in the Tahitian language. It measures up to 10,5ft and weighs around 220lbs at adulthood. The Nurse shark often lives on the sandy sea bottoms. This sedentary shark...

The buoy – Tikehau

After 15 years living in French Polynesia, I was looking forward to visiting Tikehau for the first time. Its main village “Tuherahera” is about 2km long and home to roughly 500 people. This beautiful atoll offers incredible Polynesian hospitality at...
Share This