Beware of the sharp teeth of dogtooth tuna whilst handling them.
Their eating qualities can be greatly improved if they are killed immediately by iki jime before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding. A firm knock on the head may be required to stun larger fish first before attempting iki jime.
- Dogtooth tuna differ from all other tunas due to their large conical teeth.
- They have a streamlined body, bluish-black dorsally with a silvery belly, wavy undulating lateral line and a black edge on the soft first dorsal fin.
- Juveniles and smaller adults have white tips on the second dorsal, anal and pectoral fins, but there are no other lines, spots or markings on body.
- This species is a voracious predator which preys on a wide variety of schooling reef fishes, as well as squids.
- These fish grow quickly and reach maturity at around 70 cm fork length and 2 years of age. After maturity growth slows and 1.5 meter long fish are likely to be 12-15 years old. Maximum age is at least 20 years.
- Dogtooth tuna occur throughout the tropical Indo-West and central Pacific Ocean, mostly offshore around seamounts and coral reefs from the surface to depths of at least 250 meters (800 feet).
- Juveniles and smaller adults occur in small schools, but larger adults tend to be solitary.
- Large adult dogtooth tuna may be ciguatoxic in some parts of their range.
Fish Size Common Length:
100-180 cm (3-6 feet), maximum size around 240 cm (8 feet) and 130 kg (285 lb).