Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Elopiformes
(Tarpons and tenpounders) > Elopidae
Etymology: Elops: Greek, ellops = a kind of serpent (Ref. 45335). More on author: Regan.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 30 m (Ref. 6898). Tropical; 41°N - 40°S, 92°E - 138°W
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.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 120 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 44894); common length : 50.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 10983); max. published weight: 10.1 kg (Ref. 6736)
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.
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).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Smith, D.G., 1997. Elopidae. Ladyfishes, tenpounders. p. 1619-1620. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the WCP. Vol. 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. (Ref. 10983)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.5 - 29.3, mean 28.6 °C (based on 2710 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5176 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00562 (0.00248 - 0.01273), b=3.01 (2.81 - 3.21), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.62 se; based on food items.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (72 of 100) .