Gnathanodon speciosus – Golden Trevally

Gnathanodon speciosus – Golden Trevally can reach a total length of about 120 centimeters. They, therefore, need a large aquarium.

Gnathanodon speciosus – Golden Trevally

Gnathanodon speciosus is a ray-finned fish from the Jacks and Pompanos family. The scientific name of the species was first validly published in 1775 by Forsskål.


It is truly a beautiful bright yellow or gold-colored fish with a narrow black stripe through the eye and 7 to 12 vertical black bands across the body of varying widths. The fins are golden yellow and the caudal fin is deeply forked. Another feature is that the second dorsal fin is larger than the first and the pectoral fins are long and sickle-shaped.

As the fish matures, the yellow can become more silvery and iridescent. The black stripes also fade and black spots appear on the side of the body.

The Golden Trevally has plump, fleshy lips and an extendable mouth. In young animals, only a few small teeth are present in the lower jaw that are missing in adults.

It is not a small fish, so a large aquarium is necessary. Think of an aquarium of at least 3000 liters of water with a temperature between 22 ° C – 28 ° C. The Golden Trevally can reach a length of 120 centimeters and weigh up to 15 kg. In addition, it is a fast-swimming predatory fish, which usually hunts in small groups. They are not known for being aggressive but be careful which fellow residents you choose.


The Golden Trevally is found in many places, you can find them in the East Indian Ocean, near Australia, the West Indian Ocean, near Africa, Japan, in the Red Sea, the Mexican Gulf, the Indo-Pacific region, east of the Pacific coast of America (California, Mexico and Ecuador).

It is mainly found on sandy bottoms and on coral and rocky reefs up to a depth of about 50 meters. The Great Lantern Shark (Etmopterus princeps) and the Olive ridley tortoise (Lepidochelys olivacea) also live here. They search in and above the sand for mollusks and crustaceans, but small fish are not safe either. These are sucked in through the protruding mouth.

Young Golden Trevallies often mimic the behavior of the Pilot Fish (Naucrates ductor), which can always be found around sharks and other large fish. It is also known that these young animals often live among the tentacles of jellyfish. Presumably, they do this as protection from predators.

Studies have shown that the growth in the number of fish is greatest during the summer months. The conclusion is therefore that the spawning period should take place in April and May.

At the moment the Golden Trevally is not considered endangered, but more and more young fish are being caught for the aquarium trade. The fish is not cheap. The price for a young Gnathanodon speciosus is around € 50.00 and they are kept in schools. For an adult specimen, you have to deposit about € 250.00. But to many, that is worth the cash because this a very beautiful fish!



Margie van der Heijden – Ons Natuurgenot Gouda

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Margie van der Heijden – Ons Natuurgenot Gouda

Bijgewerkt op 5 July 2023 door John

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