Description & Behavior

Common dolphinfishes, Coryphaena hippurus (Linnaeus, 1758), aka dorados, dolphinfishes, mahi-mahi, measure 2.1 m in length and weigh up to 40 kg. This species is reported to live only about 5 years. They have a single dorsal fin that extends from above the eye almost to the caudal fin with 58-66 rays. They also have a concave anal fin that extends from the anus to the caudal fin. The pectoral fins are typically more than half the length of the head. Adult males have a prominent bony crest in front of the head. The color of the common dolphinfishes is gold, blue, and/or green on their sides with white and yellow shading underneath. Juveniles and smaller dolphinfishes have pronounced vertical bars on the sides of their bodies.

World Range & Habitat


Common dolphinfishes, Coryphaena hippurus, are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. They are a highly migratory species and are found both open and coastal waters, often in schools.

Feeding Behavior (Ecology)

Common dolphinfishes, Coryphaena hippurus, feed on other smaller fishes and zooplankton, crustaceans, and squid.

Life History

Common dolphinfishes, Coryphaena hippurus, reproduce through external fertilization. Spawning occurs from about March to early June in the Indian Ocean waters of east Africa. In the western Pacific, spawning likely occurs year round.

Common dolphinfish reach sexual maturity at 4-5 months and spawns in open water.

Conservation Status & Comments

Consumption of common dolphinfish, Coryphaena hippurus, has been reported to cause ciguatera poisoning. This species is hunted commercially and is not currently considered an endangered or threatened species.

Resilience to fishing pressure: High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months
Extinction vulnerability to fishing: Moderate vulnerability (39 of 100)

References & Further Research

Research Coryphaena hippurus @
Barcode of Life ~ BioOne ~ Biodiversity Heritage Library ~ CITES ~ Cornell Macaulay Library ~ Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) ~ ESA Online Journals ~ FishBase ~ Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department ~ GBIF ~ Google Scholar ~ ITIS ~ IUCN RedList (Threatened Status) ~ Marine Species Identification Portal ~ NCBI (PubMed, GenBank, etc.) ~ Ocean Biogeographic Information System ~ PLOS ~ SIRIS ~ Tree of Life Web Project ~ UNEP-WCMC Species Database ~ WoRMS

Search for Common Dolphinfishes @
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