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Chanos chanos  (Forsskål, 1775)

Milkfish
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Chanos chanos   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Chanos chanos (Milkfish)
Chanos chanos
Picture by Randall, J.E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Gonorynchiformes (Milkfish) > Chanidae (Milkfish)
Etymology: Chanos: Greek, chanos, -eos, ous, and chasma, -atos = abyss, mouth opened, inmensity (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 30 m (Ref. 6898).   Tropical; 15°C - 43°C (Ref. 43081); 46°N - 52°S, 19°E - 77°W

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 91.8, range 68 - 70 cm
Max length : 180 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710); 124.0 cm SL (female); common length : 100.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9814); max. published weight: 14.0 kg (Ref. 9814); max. reported age: 15 years (Ref. 9814)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-17; Anal spines: 2; Anal soft rays: 8 - 10; Vertebrae: 46. Diagnosis: body elongate and somewhat compressed; mouth small and toothless; branchiostegal rays 4; one dorsal fin; pectoral fins falcate; body olive green; flanks silvery; fins dark bordered (Ref. 55763). Superficially resembles bonefishes but by evolution more advanced by having 4 branchiostegal rays (Ref. 1602). Jaws toothless (Ref. 12693).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: along continental shelves and around islands, where temperatures are greater than 20°C. Red Sea and South Africa to Hawaii and the Marquesas, north to Japan, south to Victoria, Australia. Eastern Pacific: San Pedro, California to the Galapagos.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in offshore marine waters and shallow coastal embayments, but also frequently enter estuaries and occasionally penetrate freshwater streams (Ref. 44894). A marine species which enters estuaries and rivers (Ref. 52331). Adults occur in small to large schools near the coasts or around islands where reefs are well developed. Eggs and larvae are pelagic up to 2-3 weeks. Older larvae migrate onshore and settle in coastal wetlands (mangroves, estuaries) during the juvenile stage, or occasionally enter freshwater lakes. Juveniles and sub-adults return to sea where they mature sexually. Spawn only in fully saline water. Larvae eat zooplankton; juveniles and adults eat cyanobacteria, soft algae, small benthic invertebrates, and even pelagic fish eggs and larvae. Larvae are collected from rivers and are grown in culture ponds into juveniles, which are marketed fresh, smoked, canned or frozen. Brood stocks can be raised and spawned in captivity to produce larvae in the hatchery (Ref. 12868). Can thrive and grow in water as hot as 32° C (Ref. 9987).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Bagarinao, T., 1994. Systematics, distribution, genetics and life history of milkfish, Chanos chanos. Environ. Biol. Fish. 39(1):23-41.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; bait: usually
FAO(Aquaculture: production, species profile; fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01230 (0.00931 - 0.01626), b=3.02 (2.94 - 3.10), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.0   ±0.1 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tm=4-8; tmax=15; Fec=200,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (76 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.