Elops hawaiensis


The Spanish hogfish (Bodianus rufus) is also sometimes known as "ladyfish".''

Elopidae is a family of ray-finned fish containing the single genus Elops.

The ladyfish are a coastal dwelling fish found throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions. Spawning takes place at sea and the fish larvae migrate inland entering brackish waters. Their food is smaller fish and crustaceans (shrimp). Typically throughout the species the maximum size is 1 m and the maximum weight 10 kg. The body is fusiform (tapering spindle shape) and oval in cross-section; being slightly laterally compressed, the eyes are large and partially covered with fatty (adipose) eyelids.

The larvae are leptocephalic - being highly compressed, ribbon-like and transparent. After initial growth they shrink and then metamorphise into the adult form.

This family is fished but the body is bony and therefore not edible by humans. However, the fish may be ground down for fish meal.

The name comes from the Greek ellops - a kind of serpent.

Fish in this family are known as ladyfishes or tenpounders and also as big-eye herrings, guinées (French) and machetes (Spanish).


There are six species:


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