Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Yellow-tail

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YELLOW-TAIL. This name is given by seafaring men to a variety of marine fishes, chiefly of the family of Horse-Mackerels, which have this in common, that they are edible and have a yellow caudal fin. As the latter peculiarity, which has found expression in the specific names of chrysurus, xanthurus, &c., of systematic ichthyology, is not confined to that family, very different kinds of fishes bear the same name: thus, for instance, the fishermen of the United States apply it to species of the Meagre family (Sciænidæ) and to others. Economically the most important kinds of these fishes, the yellow-tail of the South Atlantic and the southern Indo-Pacific Ocean, are species of the genera Seriola, Seriolichthys, and Micropteryx, some of which, like Seriola lalandii and S. gigas, attain to the size of a cod or a coal-fish, and are preserved in a similar manner, either salted or dried. They abound in many localities, and are valued as food fish everywhere. They form a large proportion of the dried fish which are exported from the Cape of Good Hope to Mauritius and Batavia, or are sold to the whalers visiting the Southern Ocean. They are equally abundant at St Helena, where, however, their value as an article of trade does not seem to be fully understood. On the coasts of South Australia and New Zealand they are likewise a staple article of food, but are chiefly eaten fresh, the most esteemed species being Seriola lalandii, also known to the colonists as the "king-fish."