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Coryphaena equiselis Linnaeus, 1758
Lesser Dolphin; Lesser Dolphin-fish; Pompano Dolphinfish

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Coryphaenidae   Coryphaena

Coryphaena equiselis
© Copyright John Rangall, 2006 · 0
Coryphaena equiselis

Click on map for details about points.


Main identification features
  • body height greater than 25 percent sl
  • pectoral less than 1/2 head
  • a: front margin convex
Body elongate, compressed, maximum height greater than 1/4 of standard length; patch of teeth on tongue wide and square; teeth in bands on jaws, and front and sides of roof of mouth; dorsal fin long, with 48-55 rays; anal fin with convex edge; pectoral fins about 1/2 head length; tail deeply forked.

Upper body bright metallic blue-green in life, grey with green reflections in death; flanks with golden reflections and numerous black spots; in juveniles tail has white border and pelvics are unpigmented.

Size: reaches 207 cm.

Habitat: an oceanic pelagic species.

Depth: 0-50 m.

A circumtropical species; southern Baja and the SW Gulf of California to Peru and the oceanic islands.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo); South Temperate (Peruvian Province ).
Depth Range Max: 50 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: Pelagic crustacea; bony fishes; octopus/squid/cuttlefish.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=26; Southern limit=-9; Western limit=-115; Eastern limit=-78; Latitudinal range=35; Longitudinal range=37.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Pelagic.
Global Endemism: Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans); East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West); Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America); East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West); TEP non-endemic; "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Flotsam; Water column.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Offshore; In & Offshore.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 207 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Mid Water; Near Surface; Surface; Water column only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Allen , G.R. and Robertson, D.R., 1997., An Annotated Checklist of the fishes of Clipperton Atoll, Tropical Eastern Pacific., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 45:813-843.
  • Briggs, J.C., 1960., Fishes of worldwide (circumtropical) distribution., Copeia, 1960:171-180.
  • Béarez, P., 1996., Lista de los Peces Marinos del Ecuador Continental., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 44:731-741.
  • Castro-Aguirre, J.L. and Balart, E.F., 2002., La ictiofauna de las islas Revillagigedos y sus relaciones zoogeograficas, con comentarios acerca de su origen y evolucion. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:153-170.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Fowler, H.W., 1944., Results of the Fifth George Vanderbilt Expedition (1941) (Bahamas, Caribbean sea, Panama, Galapagos Archipelago and Mexican Pacific Islands). The Fishes., Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadel., Monographs, 6:57-529.
  • Hunter, J. R. and Mitchell, C. T., 1966., Association of fishes with flotsam in the offshore waters of Central America., Fishery Bulletin, 66:13-29.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Jordan , and McGregor,., 1898., List of fishes collected at the Revillagigedo archipelago and neighboring islands., Rept. U.S. Fisheries Comm., 24:271-284.
  • Kendall , W.C. and Radcliffe, L., 1912., The shore fishes. Reports on the scientific results of the expedition to the eastern tropical Pacific, ... by the U.S. Fish Commission steamer ALBATROSS, from October, 1904, to March, 1905, Lieut. Commander L.M. Garret, U.S.N., Commanding. XXV., Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., 35(3):75-171.
  • Linnaeus, C., 1758., Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.) Holmiae., Systema Nat. ed. 10, 1:1-824.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Ricker, K.E., 1959., Mexican shore and pelagic fishes collected from Acapulco to Cape San Lucas during the 1957 cruise of the "Marijean"., Univ. Brit. Columbia Inst. Fish., Mus. Contrib., 3:18pp.
  • Robertson , D.R. and Allen, G.A., 1996., Zoogeography of the shorefish fauna of Clipperton Atoll., Coral Reefs, 15:121-131.
  • Snodgrass , R. E. and Heller, E., 1905., Papers from the Hopkins Stanford Galapagos expedition, 1898-1899. XVII. Shorefishes of the Revillagigedo, Clipperton, Cocos and Galapagos Island., Proc. Wash. Acad. Sci., 6:333-427.
  • Van der Heiden , A. M. and Findley, L. T., 1988., Lista de los peces marinos del sur de Sinaloa, México., Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia de la Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico, 15:209-224.
  • Walker, B. W. and Baldwin, W. J., 1964., Provisional check list of fishes of the Revillagigedo islands., 18 pp.


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Following modified from Australian Faunal Directory
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http://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/2b4cdfac-dace-4924-9ea5-79b576e3954d/ ---> https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/2b4cdfac-dace-4924-9ea5-79b576e3954d/
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Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
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Kingdom Animalia  
 Phylum Chordata  
 Class Actinopterygii  
 Order Perciformes  
 Family Coryphaenidae  
 Genus Coryphaena  
  Coryphaena equiselis    Linnaeus, 1758 
Provider: Kwang-Tsao Shao 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Coryphaena aurata Coryphaena azorica Coryphaena equisetis Coryphaena lessonii Lampugus neapolitanus Lampugus punctulatus   details
Citation: Palko, B.J., G.L. Beardsley and W. Richards, 1982. Synopsis of the biological data on dolphin-fishes, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus and Coryphaena equiselis Linnaeus. FAO Fish. Synop. (130) NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS Circ. (443).
Character: The body is elongated and compressed with small cycloid scales. It has a long dorsal fin that stretches from their nape to a fork tail. The greatest body depth in adults is more than 25% standard length. The anal fin is concave and the pectoral fin is about half the length of the head. The tooth patch on the tongue is broad and square. In juveniles the entire margin of the caudal fin is white and the pelvic fins are not pigmented. Pompano dolphins are often mistaken for female or immature common dolphins. Color in life brilliant metallic blue-green dorsally, fading to gray with green tinge upon death; sides silvery with golden sheen and spots. Head profile of large adults becomes vertical with the development of bony crest. 
Habitat: Primarily in oceanic species but may enter coastal waters. Usually forms schools. Follows boats and may be found under floating objects. Feeds on small fishes and squid. They are commonly observed schooling under drift lines of seaweed, or under floating  
Distribution: The pompano dolphinfish is highly migratory species, widely distributed in the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. It is rarely captured in coast waters, generally not found in waters with surface temperatures less th 
Utility: The dolphinfish support commercial and sportfishing industries worldwide. Marketed fresh and considered an excellent food fish. 
Name Code: 381637
  IUCN Red List:LC      
Suggested Link    The Fish Database of Taiwan    FishBase  
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Following modified from FishBase
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http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Coryphaena&speciesname=equiselis ---> http://www.fishbase.se/summary/Coryphaena-equiselis.html

Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Coryphaena equiselis   Linnaeus , 1758

Pompano dolphinfish Add your observation in Fish Watcher
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Coryphaena equiselis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Pictures | Google image Image of Coryphaena equiselis (Pompano dolphinfish) Coryphaena equiselis
Male picture by Freitas, R.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Coryphaenidae (Dolphinfishes)
Etymology: Coryphaena: Greek, koryphaina = dolphin fish (Ref. 45335 ) .   More on author: Linnaeus .

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243 ); depth range 0 - 400 m (Ref. 86942 ).   Subtropical; 24°C - ? (Ref. 26 ); 48°N - 48°S, 180°W - 180°E (Ref. 55203 )

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas. Frequently misidentified as juvenile or female of Coryphaena hippurus . Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139 ).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ? , range 22 - ? cm
Max length : 127 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26 ); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2683 ); max. reported age: 4 years (Ref. 26 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 52-59; Anal spines : 0; Anal soft rays : 24 - 28; Vertebrae : 33. Body elongated and compressed, its depth contained less than 4.0 times in standard length (adults); tongue with a wide tooth patch covering 50 to 60 percent of its surface; dorsal fin originating on nape, almost reaching caudal fin, with 48 to 55 rays; anterior distal edge of anal fin convex; pectoral fins located near middle of head; body shiny blue green, changing to gray with green tints after death; flanks with golden highlights and numerous diffuse black stains (Ref. 55763 ). Greatest body depth more than 25% of SL; tooth patch on tongue broad and square; single dorsal fin extending from just behind eye almost to caudal fin, with 52-59 rays; a convex anal fin extending from anus almost to caudal fin; pectoral fin about half of head length (Ref. 10948 ). Caudal vertebrae usually 20. (Ref. 10998 ). Color in life brilliant metallic blue-green dorsally, fading to grey with green tinge upon death; sides silvery with golden sheen and spots; dorsal fin dark; juveniles with entire caudal fin margin white. Head profile of large adults (30-200 cm.) becomes vertical with the development of bony crest, but more in males.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Primarily an oceanic species but may enter coastal waters (Ref. 9293 ). Usually forms schools. Follows boats and may be found under floating objects (Ref. 9293 ). Feeds on small fishes and squid (Ref. 9293 ). Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6755 ). Marketed fresh and considered an excellent food fish (Ref. 5288 ). An important game fish in northern South America (Ref. 5217 ).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Palko, B.J., G.L. Beardsley and W.J. Richards , 1982. Synopsis of the biological data on dolphin-fishes, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus and Coryphaena equiselis Linnaeus. FAO Fish. Synop. (130); NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS Circ. (443). (Ref. 26 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185 )

  Least Concern (LC)  

CITES (Ref. 115941 )

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes FAO(Publication : search ) | FishSource |

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Special reports

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Summary page | Point data | Common names | Photos

Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank( genome , nucleotide ) | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia( Go , Search ) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 14.2 - 27.9, mean 22.3 (based on 1841 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01445 (0.00900 - 0.02322), b=2.86 (2.72 - 3.00), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic Level (Ref. 69278 ):  4.5   ±0.60 se; Based on food items. Resilience (Ref. 69278 ):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=4). Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Low to moderate vulnerability (35 of 100) . Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   Unknown .

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