Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Elopiformes
(Tarpons and tenpounders) > Elopidae
Etymology: Elops: Greek, ellops = a kind of serpent (Ref. 45335). More on author: Valenciennes.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; depth range 1 - 50 m (Ref. 26999). Tropical; 21°N - 23°S, 20°W - 15°E
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5377); common length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2683)
spines: 0. Diagnosis: Elops lacerta is characterized by 17-19 gill-rakers on lower limb of first gill arch and small scales, those in lateral line numbering 72 to 83 and ornamented with a small, unbranched, tubule (Ref. 2844, 81265, 81629).
Eastern Atlantic: coastal waters of West Africa from Mauritania to Angola or Namibia (Ref. 4445, 81265, 81629). Sometimes it enters freshwater, like in Cross River and Kouilou-Niari River (Ref. 81629). It is often confused with Elops senegalensis (Ref. 81629).
Elops lacerta lives in shallow coastal waters over sandy/muddy bottoms, occasionally entering brackish waters and the lower reaches of rivers; from inshore and some way up tidal rivers to edge of shelf (Ref. 4445, 81265, 81629). The reproduction takes place in the sea (Ref. 81265). It feeds primarily on small fishes, mainly clupeids, crustaceans and molluscs; large specimens also feed on insects (Ref. 81629).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Whitehead, P.J.P., 1990. Elopidae. p. 118-119. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 1. (Ref. 4445)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5176 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00393 - 0.02545), b=3.02 (2.80 - 3.24), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.2 ±0.75 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Assuming tm=2-3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (42 of 100) .