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Tarpons


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Tarpons are the members of the Megalopidae family. They have moderately deep body, large eye, projecting lower jaw and large scales. Their fins lack spines, dorsal fin origin at about midpoint of body, last dorsal fin ray filamentous and anal fin origin a little behind dorsal fin base. Their back colour blue or green and their flanks silvery.

Tarpons are found in most tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They are primarily coastal fishes, commonly entering lagoons and estuaries. They spawn offshore and young larvae are found in the open sea. Juveniles move inshore and often occur in tidal streams, mangrove swamps and lakes. They can tolerate a wide variety of salinities and pH. Their modified swim bladder can be filled directly with air and permits the fish to live in oxygen-poor waters. Tarpons are diurnal predator fishes, feeding mainly on fishes and crustaceans. They are also active swimmers. They are regarded as one of the most exciting gamefish. As soon as the hook is set, a tarpon will perform a series of twisting leaps to try to itself.

There is only one genus and 2 species of Megalopidae worldwide. Megalops atlanticus, the larger species can grows up to 250 cm total length and more than 160 Kg in weight. The other species, Megalops cyprinoides can grows up to 150 cm and 18 Kg in weight. Megalops cyprinoides are distinguished by having their caudal peduncle end with double V shape and lighter colour anal fin.


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Scientific Name: Megalops cyprinoides  (Broussonet, 1782)
English Name: Indo-Pacific Tarpon, Oxeye Tarpon
French Name: Tarpon indo-pacifique
Mandarin Name: 大眼海鲢 (Dà yǎn hǎi lián), 大海鰱 (Dà hǎi lián), 海庵 (Hǎi ān)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Bulan, Bulan-bulan
Main Diagnostic Features: Elongated dorsal fin ray. Caudal peduncle end with double V shape and lighter colour anal fin.
Size: Maximum 150 cm and 18 Kg in weight.