Actinopterygii (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; brackish; pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 10 m (Ref. 96339). Subtropical; 36°N - 19°S, 122°W - 70°W (Ref. 118622)
Eastern Pacific: Mandalay Beach, southern California, USA to Peru, including the Gulf of California.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 91.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 28050); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9297)
soft rays: 12 - 18;
Vertebrae: 78 - 82. Body slender and elongate; mouth large and terminal; bony plate present between branches of lower jaw; branchiostegal rays very numerous (25 to 35); fins lacking spines; lower branch of first gill arch with 16 to 20 gill rakers; scales very small, 100 to 120 in the lateral line; back dark blue-green to light brown; flanks silvery with slight yellow highlights; fins slightly yellowish (ref. 55763). Caudal rays: principal (10+8-9), procurrent (upper:8, lower: 8)
Branchiostegal rays: 23-35
Occur in schools in shallow inshore areas. Penetrate lagoons and estuaries (Ref. 9297). Feed on fish and penaeids (Ref. 50313). Spawning probably occur in the open sea and the transparent larvae migrate towards coastal areas (Ref. 9297). Struggle vigorously when caught on hooks and lines (Ref. 9297). Low commercial value due its numerous spines (Ref. 9297).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. xii+336 p. (Ref. 2850)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 20.4 - 29.1, mean 25.1 (based on 257 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5176 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00575 (0.00254 - 0.01302), 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
): 4.1 ±0.70 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (48 of 100) .