Fish Identification: Find Family
Glossary 2 families of tarpons and tenpounders FishBase

Elopidae Elopidae - (Tenpounders) Chiefly marine; enter estuaries and freshwater, especially as juveniles. Distribution: tropical and subtropical waters. Body fusiform, oval, slightly compressed. Eyes big, partially covered with adipose eyelids. Mouth terminal, upper jaw extending to posterior border of eyes, lower jaw prominent, bony gular plate ventral between its two branches. Lateral line scales usually 95-120. Large pseudobranchiae. Branchiostegal rays 27-35. Usually 20-25 rays in dorsal fin; the last dorsal ray not produced. Rays in anal fin usually 13-18. Pelvic fin with usually 12-16 rays, inserted below or behind dorsal fin origin. Dorsal and anal with base in scaly sheath. Pectorals and pelvics with bony axillary projection. Vertebrae 63-79. Larval stage translucid. Gamefish.

Megalopidae Megalopidae - (Tarpons) Chiefly marine; entering fresh water. Distribution: tropical and subtropical waters. Fusiform, compressed body. Mouth terminal, oblique or superior, lower jaw prominent, gular plate ventral between two branches of lower jaw. Pseudo- branchiae absent. Branchiostegal rays: 23-27. Single dorsal fin without spines; dorsal fin rays: 13-21; filamentous last dorsal ray. Pectorals very low. Anal fin rays: 22-29. Pelvic fin rays: 10-11. Conus arteriosus present. Branched tubes radiating over lateral line scales. Swim bladder lying against skull. About 2.2 m maximum length. Larval stage leptocephalic translucid. Large silvery fishes. Can tolerate oxygen-poor water by inhaling air into lung-like swim bladder. Popular sportfishes.

Note: Families with unknown counts of dorsal or anal spines are also included

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