Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Elopiformes
(Tarpons and tenpounders) > Elopidae
Etymology: Elops: Greek, ellops = a kind of serpent (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; pH range: 0.2 - ?; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 50 m (Ref. 13325). Subtropical; 29°N - 17°S
Western Atlantic: Cape Cod (USA), Bermuda, and northern Gulf of Mexico to southern Brazil. Questionable occurrence records in the China (Ref. 52360), Taiwan (47843), and Vietnam (Ref. 9706, 46452).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26340); common length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3718); max. published weight: 10.1 kg (Ref. 4699)
Occur in shallow neritic areas, over muddy bottoms (Ref. 5217). Also found in brackish estuaries and juveniles are common in lagoons and hyper-saline bays (Ref. 5217). Form large schools close to the shore (Ref. 9987). Feed mainly on crustaceans and small fishes. Spawn in the open sea (Ref. 5217). Larval development is represented by profound changes in body form accompanied by 2 periods of length increase, interspaced by a period of length decrease (Ref. 4639). Noted for their habit of skipping along the surface of the water and for jumping after being hooked (Ref. 5521). Marketed fresh, salted and frozen but considered a second rate food fish (Ref. 3718). Rhynchobothrium bulbifer found in the viscera of the adult (Ref. 37032).
Spawns offshore, the larvae drifting towards the coast where they shelter and grow (Ref. 9987). Leptocephalus larvae are found in salinities as low as 0.0+ to 0.8 ppt (Ref. 75142).
Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; bait: usually
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 25 - 29.1, mean 28 °C (based on 1142 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5176 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00589 (0.00437 - 0.00793), b=2.99 (2.91 - 3.07), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.3 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.22-0.3; tm=2).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (38 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 30.9 [13.9, 63.6] mg/100g ; Iron = 1.16 [0.59, 2.23] mg/100g ; Protein = 16.5 [14.2, 19.5] % ; Omega3 = 0.3 [0.1, 0.7] g/100g ; Selenium = 26.1 [10.7, 62.2] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 33.3 [7.3, 150.2] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.896 [0.543, 1.544] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.