Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: CORYPHAENIDAE, Dolphinfishes

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D & A no spines
D: origin on nape, v long base, almost to C
tail base - no keels
A: very long base, almost to C





Dolphinfishes are oceanic fishes of moderate to large size (75 cm to 2 m), with a very elongate compressed body; adult males with a bony crest on the forehead, and a near-vertical front snout profile; mouth large; numerous small teeth in bands on jaws; a long-based dorsal fin extending from the nape almost to the tail fin; a long-based anal fin extending nearly to the tail fin; a large, deeply forked tail fin; no isolated finlets behind the dorsal or anal fins; pectorals and pelvics short, the latter fitting into grooves on the belly; small smooth scales; no hard spiny scales (scutes) on lateral line; lateral line with a sharp curve over pectorals.

Dorados are pelagic in habit, generally living near the surface, often congregating around floating objects or sometimes following ships. Dolphinfishes are swift predators that feed on fishes (especially flyingfishes) and squid. They are much sought after by anglers who catch them by trolling a lure near the surface.

The family contains only two species, both of which have a worldwide distribution in tropical and subtropical seas.