HORSE-MACKEREL, the name applied to a genus of fishes (Caranx) found in abundance in almost all temperate and especially in tropical seas. The designation " cavalli," given to them by the early Portuguese navigators, and often met with in the accounts of the adventures of the buccaneers, is still in frequent use among the sailors of all nations. Some ninety different kinds are known the majority being wholesome food, and some of the species attaining a length of 3 ft. and more. The fish to which the name horse-mackerel is applied in Great Britain is Caranx trachurus, distinguished by having the lateral line in its whole length armed with large but narrow bony plates. Horse-mackerel are found singly on the coast all the year round, but sometimes they congregate in shoals of many thousands. Although well-flavoured, they are much more frequently used for bait than for food. This species has a most extraordinary range, being found almost everywhere within the temperate and tropical zones of the northern and southern hemispheres.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)