TREVALLY, CALE CALE
The Cale Cale Trevally, Ulua mentalis is a species of marine fish in the jack and horse mackerel family Carangidae. The cale cale trevally is a large fish, reported to reach 1m in length, however is commonly seen at lengths below 60cm.
The Cale Cale Trevally was first scientifically described by the famed French naturalist Georges Cuvier in his 1833 volume Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Cuvier based his description off the designated holotype specimen collected from the Red Sea near the port city of Massawa in Eritrea. Cuvier named the species Caranx mentalis, with the specific epithet derived from the Latin word for "chin". In 1908 the American ichthyologists David Starr Jordan and John Snyder described Ulua richardsoni and in the process erected a new genus for the species. Subsequent review has shown the designation of a new genus to be correct, however U. richardoni was found to be synonymous with C. mentalis. ICZN rules state that the first description takes priority, thus the combination of Ulua mentalis is currently accepted. Between 1833 and 1908, three other redescriptions were published, with William Macleay's Caranx mandibularis entering common usage before priority was established.
The Cale Cale Trevally has a body shape typical to many trevallies in the genera Carangoides and Caranx, having a compressed oblong body, with the convexity of the forehead increasing with age. The lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw, giving a pronounced 'chin', which becomes stronger as the fish grows, and is diagnostic of the species. The jaws of the species contain narrow bands of villiform teeth, with no teeth present on the tongue, a feature which distinguishes it from the silver mouth trevally. The gill rakers of the Cale Cale Trevally are also distinctive, being elongated and feather like, extending into the mouth to the tongue. There are 74-86 gill rakers in total. The dorsal fin is in two parts; the first having 7-8 spines and the second 1 spine and 20 to 22 soft rays. The anal fin has 2 detached spines followed by 17 to 18 soft rays. Both the soft dorsal and anal fins are elongated, sometimes to filaments in juveniles, with the dorsal fin being longest and occasionally extending to the caudal fin. The pectoral fins are falcate and extend beyond the intersection of the curved and straight part of the lateral line. The lateral line has a moderate anterior arch, with the straight section containing 0-5 scales followed by 26-38 scutes. The breast area is devoid of scales from the operculum to behind the pelvic fins and extends up to the base of the pectoral fins. There are 24 vertebrae in total.
The Cale Cale Trevally is a blue green to olive green above fading to a silvery white below. A dark diffuse blotch is present on the upper operculum in large individuals, but is faint or absent in smaller fish. The cheeks, lower jaw, inside of the mouth and tongue are all silver in smaller specimens. The spinous dorsal fin is dusky to black, while the soft dorsal and anal fins are dusky to pale green. In larger individuals the lobes of both these fins are dark, however in small specimens the filamentous of the dorsal fin rays are black while the anal fin rays white. The caudal fin is dusky. Juveniles may have 7-8 dark vertical crossbands across their body.
The Cale Cale Trevally can be found in large schools working small baitfish close inshore, and can be very difficult to hook. It can be frustrating coming up to a school of longrakered trevally ranging from 2kg to 6kg, only to have them ignore lures thrown in their direction. The secret is to use small silver slices because these fish seem to prefer to feed on small bait. Throwing a small fly is probably the most efficient method of getting regular catches, but sometimes even these are ignored. For lures or flies, a medium to fast retrieve is the best.
The shape of a Cale Cale Trevally means lots of resistance once they are on the end of the line. Their lovely silver sides reflect all the colours of the rainbow when fresh out of the water.
The Cale Cale Trevally is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and West Pacific Oceans. In the Indian Ocean the species ranges from as far south as Mozambique and Madagascar, north to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf and east to India, South East Asia and Indonesia. The species has also been recorded from offshore islands including the Seychelles and Maldives. The species has a restricted range in the west Pacific; in the south it is known from Queensland, Australia and recently has been recorded from Japan in the north. The first recorded occurrence of the longrakered trevally in Japan during 2007 was of juveniles, with authors concluding schools had been carried on the Kuroshio Current from China or Taiwan, and the species did not breed in Japan.
In Australia it is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south to northern Queensland.