Elops hawaiensis Regan, 1909
Hawaiian ladyfish
Elops hawaiensis
photo by Good, P.

Family:  Elopidae (Tenpounders)
Max. size:  120 cm SL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 10 kg
Environment:  pelagic-neritic; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 1 - 30 m, anadromous
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: from the Andaman Sea in the Eastern Indian Ocean to Western Australia and in the Pacific, from southern Japan to New South Wales and New Caledonia; throughout most of Oceania to the Hawaiian Is., Society Is., and Tuamotus (Ref. 86689). Currently treated as a single species, but this status should be considered provisional. Further studies may reveal a complex of closely related species, as in the case of Albula.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 23-27; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 14-18. A gular plate present between arms of lower jaw. Branchiostegal rays numerous, approximately 20-25. All fins without spines. Scales very small, approximately 100 in lateral line.
Biology:  A coastal fish, commonly entering lagoon, bays, and estuaries (including fishponds) (Ref. 2847, 58302), particularly around mangroves (Ref. 44894). Sometimes enters freshwater streams, but does not penetrate very far inland (Ref. 2847). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Younger fish often penetrate the lower freshwater reaches of rivers (Ref. 44894). An active swimmer, commonly traveling in schools in open water. Feeds on various fishes and crustaceans. Little detailed knowledge exists of its biology. Has a leptocephalus larva. Spawning takes place offshore and young larvae are found in the open sea, moving close to shore as they develop. Juveniles commonly found in salt marshes, canals, and tidal streams. Marketed fresh or frozen; in some places ground up as fish meal. A good sport fish on light tackle, striking a variety of artificial lures as well as live shrimp or baitfish. No separate statistics available. (Ref. 10983).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 17 November 2020 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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