Dolphin (Coryphaena hippurus)
Family Coryphaenidae, Dolphins
Description: bright greenish blue above, yellow on
sides, with capability of flashing purple, chartreuse, and a wide range of other colors;
body tapers sharply from head to tail; irregular blue or golden blotches scattered over
sides; anterior profile of head on adult males is nearly vertical; head of females more
sloping; the single dark dorsal fin extends from just behind the head to the tail; anal
fin margin concave and extending from anus to tail.
Similar fish: pompano dolphin C. equisetis. The
pompano dolphin has squarish tooth patch on tongue (oval tooth patch on dolphin) and fewer
dorsal rays (48 to 55 vs 55 to 65 on dolphin).
Where found: OFFSHORE in warm waters.
Size: common to 30 pounds.
Remarks: one of the fastest-growing fish, thought
to live no more than 5 years; swimming speed estimated at 50 knots; spawns in warm oceanic
currents throughout much of the year; young found in sargassum weed; feeds on flying fish
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Marine Resources, Office of
Fisheries Management and Assistance Services
Revised - 12/14/02 04:19 PM