46 PacificBonito MBA W
46Identifcation number on The Map®

Pacific Bonito

Sarda chiliensis

Pacific BonitoMonterey Bay Aquarium, Randy Wilder ~ montereybayaquarium.com


  • It is colored blue to violet above, with metallic luster becoming silvery ventrally
  • It has ten or eleven stripes on its back running obliquely from the dorsum forward, and fifteen or more rakers below the angle on the first gill
  • The first dorsal fin is contiguous with the second and longer than the head
  • The maximum length is about 40 in and weight 25 pounds


  • Inshore to about 100 miles offshore from northern Vancouver Island to Chile, though it is not normally found north of Point Conception


  • Coastal surface pelagic, meaning a column of water not close to the bottom or near to the shore, which represents a strata of the ocean
  • Swims in schools


  • Fish(especially anchovies) and squid
  • Grow quickly, consuming about six percent of their body weight each day

Interesting Facts

  • Bonito are one of the smallest tunas—their size and striped surface distinguish them from their larger cousins
  • They avoid predators by gathering in large schools, usually close to the surface.
  • Like other tunas, they can travel great distances.