Leerfish or Garrick - Lichia amia
We had been trying for a long time to film Leerfish or Garrick – Lichia amia – one of the most beautiful and most elusive Carangidae endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. It is a pelagic species but, like all carangids, Leerfish usually approaches the coast at the beginning of June, disappears, returns at the end of August until October.
In the video we met her during the final phase of a storm, when the large carangids of the Mediterranean (Learfish and Amberjack) approach the coasts in search of food, this is why their elusive nature allows them to be spotted by divers only for a few moments and then disappears into the blue.
Leerfish (Lichia amia) is a saltwater predatory fish belonging to the Carangidae family.
Distribution and habitat
This trevally is encountered throughout the Mediterranean Sea and in the eastern Atlantic between the Bay of Biscay and the African coasts. It is a pelagic species but has coastal habits, at least in the summer. It does not hesitate to venture into the brackish waters to hunt the mullets of which it is greedy and going as far as the mouths of rivers and port waters.
Lichia amia has a laterally compressed body with a lozenge shape and characterized by a head in small proportion, with a very large mouth. The pectoral and ventral fins are quite small while the anal and second dorsal fins are opposite and symmetrical. The first dorsal fin is reduced to a row of small spiny rays, the caudal fin is falcate. The lateral line has a striking downward curve just after the pectoral fins.
The livery is greenish-grey on the back and characteristic pearly white on the sides; the fins are dark, sometimes with white edges. It reaches a maximum length of 2 meters, for a weight that can approach 70 kg.
It is a gregarious species, the young often gather in large herds.
It occurs in spring-summer in coastal waters. The eggs are pelagic.
It feeds on fish and cephalopods it catches on the run.