Elops machnata (Forsskål, 1775)
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Elops machnata
photo by Hermosa, Jr., G.V.

Family:  Elopidae (Tenpounders)
Max. size:  118 cm FL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 11 kg
Environment:  pelagic-neritic; brackish; marine, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: Persian Gulf (Ref. 68964), Red Sea to Mossel Bay, South Africa and east to India and western Pacific. Africa: Inland waters.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 20-27; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 14-18. Upper jaw reaching well behind eye; teeth on jaws villiform (Ref. 4832).
Biology:  Occurs in coastal waters, but enters lagoons and estuaries (Ref. 4832) [actual freshwater records remain to be confirmed]. Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Young and adults feed on small fishes and crustaceans (Ref. 5213). Probably spawn at sea, but the transparent larvae migrate to inshore areas and are often found in brackish water (Ref. 7050). Are voracious carnivores that take fish, squid and shrimp bait (Ref. 3968). Edible, but not tasty and full of bones (Ref. 3968). A total length of 126 cm for this species has been reported from Knysna, South Africa (G. Bernardt, pers. comm., e-mail: gerard@smallstreams.com) .
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 20 June 2016 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  The identity of the species reported as Elops saurus by Mai 1978 (Ref. 48794) is not clear. Mai's figure shows the lower jaw slightly projecting anteriorly and, if this detail is accurate, this suggest that this species could be E. machnata (Ref. 44416).

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 02.06.92
Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 27.02.14
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 11.11.96

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