Occur in oceanic and coastal waters. They are most common along surf beaches and rock headlands in clean, high energy waters, although adults can also be found in estuaries and into brackish water. Adults are in loose groups, often attacking shoals of mullets or other fishes and destroying numbers apparently far in excess of feeding requirements. Feed on other fish, crustaceans and cephalopods. Voracious and aggressive. Migrate to warmer water during winter and to cooler water in summer. Good food fish; marketed mostly fresh, but also dried or salted, and frozen.
Circumglobal: In tropical to subtropical waters; except the eastern Pacific. Eastern Atlantic: Portugal to South Africa, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea, Madeira, and the Canary Islands. Western Atlantic: Canada to Argentina. Indian Ocean: along the coast of East Africa, Madagascar, southern Oman, southwest India, the Malay Peninsula, and Western Australia. Southwest Pacific: Australia except the Northern Territory, and New Zealand. Absent from Eastern Pacific and Northwest Pacific.