The Indian mackerel is generally found in shallow, coastal waters, where the surface water temperature is at least 17 °C (63 °F). Adults of this species are found in coastal bays, harbours and deep lagoons. They are commonly found in turbid waters rich in plankton.
Adult Indian mackerel feed on macro plankton including the larvae of shrimp and fish. Spawning occurs in batches. The eggs are laid in the water and are externally fertilized. The Indian mackerel do not guard their eggs, which are left to develop on their own.