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Megalops cyprinoides  (Broussonet, 1782)

Indo-Pacific tarpon
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Megalops cyprinoides   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Megalops cyprinoides (Indo-Pacific tarpon)
Megalops cyprinoides
Picture by Randall, J.E.

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

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Elopiformes (Tarpons and tenpounders) > Megalopidae (Tarpons)
Etymology: Megalops: Greek, megas, megalos = great + Greek, ops = appearance (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; amphidromous; depth range 50 - ? m (Ref. 2847).   Tropical; 22°C - 24°C (Ref. 2060); 34°N - 28°S, 16°E - 130°W

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 25 - ? cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1479); common length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7017); common length :45.5 cm SL (female); max. published weight: 18.0 kg (Ref. 13337); max. reported age: 44 years (Ref. 72487)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 16-21; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 23 - 31. Lower jaw projects beyond snout; a bony gular plate present between the jaw bones. Last fin ray of dorsal long and filamentous; ventrally located pectoral fins; abdominal pelvic fins with 9 or more rays. Branchiostegals more than 23. Scales large. Color blue-green dorsally; silvery on sides. Can tolerate oxygen-poor water by `breathing' air into a lung-like air bladder. Also Ref. 3969.

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

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and Natal, South Africa (Ref. 3969) to the Society Islands, north to southern Korea, south to the Arafura Sea (Ref. 9819) and New South Wales. Restricted to high islands (Palau, Caroline and Mariana islands) in Micronesia. Reported as far inland as the lower Shire in Malawi and the Save-Runde junction in Zimbabwe (Ref. 7248). Widespread in the Lower Zambezi River channels up to Marromeu and in the Micelo River up to Malingapanzi (Ref. 39494). South China Sea, Taiwan Strait, and East China Sea(Ref.33302).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults are generally found at sea, but young inhabit river mouths, inner bays, and mangrove forests. In freshwater, they occur in rivers, lagoons, lakes, and swampy backwaters (Ref. 2847, 44894). Tolerate a wide pH range (5.2-9.1) (Ref. 44894) and salinities from 0 to 100. Mainly diurnal (Ref. 7017). Predaceous, feeding mainly on fishes and crustaceans (Ref. 5213). Breed offshore, possibly throughout the year. Larvae are transparent and resemble larval eels (Ref. 13337), but with a forked tail (Ref. 167). Juveniles commonly enter freshwater (Ref. 44894, 48635) in clear or turbid water (Ref. 44894). Known to breath air, rising regularly to the surface to do so. Cultured in ponds, the fry being sourced from the coasts (Ref. 7050). Popular angling fish (Ref. 3969). Edible but not esteemed (Ref. 3969).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Whitehead, P.J.P., 1984. Megalopidae. In W. Fischer and G. Bianchi (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean fishing area 51. Vol. 3. [pag. var.]. FAO, Rome.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(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 = 1.0020   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01047 (0.00520 - 0.02108), b=3.04 (2.86 - 3.22), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.3   ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Assuming tm<=4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (67 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Low.