Indo-Pacific tarpon

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Indo-Pacific tarpon
Megalops cyprinoides.jpg

Indo-Pacific tarpon ( Megalops cyprinoides )

Subclass : Real bony fish (Teleostei)
Cohort : Elopomorpha
Order : Elopiformes (Elopiformes)
Family : Megalopidae
Genre : Tarpon ( megalops )
Type : Indo-Pacific tarpon
Scientific name
Megalops cyprinoides
( Broussonet , 1782)

The Indo-Pacific tarpon ( Megalops cyprinoides ) is a large bony fish that can reach a maximum length of 1.5 meters and is found in the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific .


Most of the time, however, the fish only reach a length of 30 to 45 centimeters. The maximum published weight is 18 kg and the maximum age is 44 years. The fish are covered by large scales. Their color is blue-green on top, the flanks are silvery. The lower jaw protrudes clearly above the upper jaw. The Indo-Pacific tarpon has more than 23 Branchiostegal rays. There is also a bony middle plate between the jawbones. The last fin ray of the dorsal fin is elongated like a thread. The pectoral fins are far below, the base of the pelvic fins directly below the beginning of the dorsal fin. A lung-like swim bladder helps the animals to survive in oxygen-poor water. 37 to 42 scales extend along the sideline . The fish have 67 to 68 vertebrae .

Fin formula : dorsal 16–21, anal 23–31, ventral 9.


The fish live in the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific from Natal to the Society Islands . The fish are found in the north as far as South Korea and in the south as far as the Arafura Sea between Australia and the island of New Guinea and New South Wales .

The population of the Indian Ocean penetrates far into East African rivers, particularly the Lower Zambezi and its tributaries, and is still found in the Lower Shire in Malawi and the Save in Zimbabwe .

Way of life

Adult Indo-Pacific tarpon are primarily ocean dwellers who predatory feed on fish and crustaceans . Young fish inhabit rivers, estuaries, bays and mangroves . They tolerate low-oxygen water, a fluctuating salt content and a pH of 5.2 to 9.1. The fish spawn near the coast, probably all year round. The larvae are ribbon-shaped, transparent and resemble, except for their forked caudal fin, those of the eels ( Leptocephalus larvae ).


The Indo-Pacific tarpon is angled by deep sea anglers. The roe is collected on the coast and the hatched young fish are raised commercially in aquaculture . It is not considered a good food fish.


Web links

Commons : Megalops cyprinoides  - album with pictures, videos and audio files