Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus 1758


Other Names: Common Dolphinfish, Dolphin, Dolphin Fish, Dolphin-fish, Dorado, Mahimahi, Mahi-mahi

A Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus. Source: Bill & Mark Bell / Flickr EOL. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:

A brilliantly coloured slender, very compressed fish with a large blunt to very steep head, and a single long-based dorsal fin extending from the head almost to the tail. Iridescent bluish-green above, silvery-golden below with small dark spots on sides, dorsal fin dark green to deep blue; other fins usually yellow to orange.

Brilliant video of flyingfish trying to escape from Mahi Mahi and frigate birds.

Fabulous footage of Mahi Mahi, Striped Marlin (Kajikia audax), Sea Lions and a whale feeding on a school of sardines off Baja California, Mexico.

Footage of a Mahi Mahi (aka Dorado), being attached by a Blue Marlin, Makaira nigricans, off Costa Rica.


Cite this page as:

Dianne J. Bray, 2011, Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 May 2016, http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1730

Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus 1758

More Info


Distribution

Widespread in all tropical and temperate oceans and in the Mediterranean Sea, most commonly in waters with temperatures ranging between 21-30°C. This pelagic surface dweller rarely ventures inshore, and individuals often aggregate beneath floating debris, Sargassum algae, or around structures such as oil rigs. The depth rage is 0-100 m.

Features

Meristic features: Dorsal fin 50–65; Anal fin 25–30; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 17–21; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 196–320; Gill rakers (lower limb) 8–11; Vertebrae 31.

Body depth 20–28% SL, adults progressively deeper; head length 20–28% SL, forehead profile of young slightly convex, becoming progressively steeper with growth, nearly vertical in large males; teeth on tongue in small oval patch.

Size

Maximum total length is 2 m, although most reach about one metre in length. According to the international gamefish records, the largest specimen caught (off Costa Rica) weighed 39.46 kg (IGFA 2011).

Colour

Variably and brilliantly coloured, mostly metallic bluish‑green above, silvery‑golden below, but flashing iridescent colours in accordance with behavioural states; dorsal fin dark green to deep blue; other fins usually yellow to orange; colours fade rapidly after death.

Feeding

Carnivore - feeds mostly on smaller pelagic fishes (flyingfishes, garfishes), crustaceans and squids. This very fast swimmer is often seen leaping from water while hunting prey or avoiding predators.

Biology

This fast-growing species matures relatively early, and spawning reportedly occurs in the open ocean year-round in tropical waters.

Fisheries

Important commercially and recreationally throughout its range, and considered excellent eating. The species is also aquacultured in parts of its range.

Conservation

IUCN Red List: Least Concern.
EPBC Act: Not listed.
Fished throughout its range. It can be locally abundant, is fast-growing, early maturing and short-lived. There are some localized declines in catch that may be related to overfishing. However, there is no indication that this species is undergoing significant population declines (Collette et al. 2011)

Remarks

There have been reports of ciguatera poisoning from the consumption of Mahi Mahi.

Species Citation

Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus 1758, Syst. Nat. 10: 261. Type locality: Mediterranean Sea.

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus 1758

References


Allan, R. 2002. Australian Fish and How to Catch Them. Sydney : New Holland Publishers (Australia) 394 pp.

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Bray, D.J. 2008. Family Coryphaenidae. pp. 571 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Bray, D.J. & D.F. Hoese. 2006. Coryphaenidae (pp. 1146-1147). In: Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) 2006. Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp.

Collette, B.B. 1999. Family Coryphaenidae. pp. 2656-2658 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species

Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 2069-2790 pp.

Collette, B., Acero, A., Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Canales Ramirez, C., Cardenas, G., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Montano Cruz, R., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Schaefer, K., Serra, R., Sun, C., Teixeira Lessa, R.P., Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E., Uozumi, Y. & Yanez, E. 2011. Coryphaena hippurus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on14 December 2011.


Collette, B.B., Gibbs, R.H.Jr., & Clipper, G.E. 1969. Vertebral numbers and identification of the two species of dolphin (Coryphaena). Copeia 1969: 630-631.

Ditty, J.G. 2005. Coryphaenidae: dolphinfishes. In: W.J. Richards (ed.), Early stages of Atlantic fishes: an identification guide for the western central North Atlantic. CRC Press.


Ditty, J.G., R.P. Shaw, C.B. Grimes & J.S. Cope. 1994. Larval development, distribution, and abundance of common dolphin, Coryphaena hippurus, and pompano dolphin, C. equiselis (family: Coryphaenidae), in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Fish. Bull. 92: 275-291.

Gibbs, R.H., Jr. & Collette, B.B. 1959. On the identification, distribution, and biology of the dolphins, Coryphaena hippurus and C. equiselis. Bulletin of Marine Science 9(2): 117-152.

Glover, C.J.M. 1994. Family Coryphaenidae. pp. 590-591 fig. 523 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

IGFA. 2011. International Game Fish Association World Record Game Fishes. Dania Beach, Florida.

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna tria Naturae, secundem Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentis, Synonymis, Locis. Tom.1 Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii 824 pp.

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Osborne, K. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve, December 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Sciences 64 pp.

Palko, B.J., Beardsley, G.L. & Richards, W.J. 1982. Synopsis of the biological data on dolphin-fishes, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus and Coryphaena equiselis Linnaeus. NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS Circ. 443.

Pepperell, J. 2010. Fishes of the Open Ocean a Natural History & Illustrated Guide. Sydney : University of New South Wales Press Ltd 266 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Rocha-Olivares, A. & Chavez-Gonzalez, J.P. 2008. Molecular identification of dolphinfish species (genus Coryphaena) using multiplex haplotype-specific PCR of mitochondrial DNA. Ichthyol Res. 455: 389-393.

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2

Russell, B.C. & W. Houston, 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. Beagle 6(1): 69-84.

Whitley, G.P. 1939. Studies in Ichthyology No. 12. Records of the Australian Museum 20(4): 264-277 figs 1-3

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37338001

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-100 metres

Fishing:Commercial & sports fish

Habitat:Pelagic

Max Size:210 cm TL ; 40 kg

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map