Pompano Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena equiselis Linnaeus 1758

Other Names: Lesser Dolphin, Lesser Dolphin-fish, Pompano Dolphinfish

Pompano Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena equiselis. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial


Identifying features:

Body elongate, compressed, depth less than 4 times in standard length;
Tooth patch on tongue wide, covering one-half or more of tongue;
Dorsal fin single, long-based, extending from just behind eye almost to caudal fin; anal fin concave; pectoral fin about half head length.

A brilliant metallic bluish-green above, sides silvery with a golden sheen and spots, dorsal fin dark; tail with a white margin in juveniles.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Coryphaena equiselis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1729

Pompano Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena equiselis Linnaeus 1758

More Info


Found worldwide in tropical and subtropical oceanic waters. A highly migratory pelagic species found mostly in the open ocean, although individuals may enter coastal waters.


Meristic features:
Dorsal-fin rays: 52-59
Anal-fin rays: 24-28
Vertebrae: 33


Carnivore - feeds on small fishes and squid.


A highly prized gamefish in parts of its range. The flesh marketed fresh and is excellent eating.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • Remarks

    Frequently misidentified as female or juvenile Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus.


    Dianne J. Bray

    Pompano Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena equiselis Linnaeus 1758


    Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

    Collette, B.B. 1969. Vertebral numbers and identification of the two species of dolphin (Coryphaena). Copeia 1969(3): 630-631.

    Collette, B.B. 1999. Family Coryphaenidae. pp. 2656-2658 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 2069-2790 pp.

    Ditty, J.G., R.P. Shaw, C.B. Grimes & J.S. Cope. 1994. Larval development, distribution, and abundance of common dolphin, Coryphaena hippurus, and pompano dolphin, C. equiselis (family: Coryphaenidae), in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Fish. Bull. 92: 275-291.

    Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

    Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

    Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 63: 9-50

    Kingsford, M.J. & Defires, A. 1999. The ecology of and fishery for Coryphaena spp. in the waters around Australia and New Zealand. Scientia Marina 63(3-4): 267-275

    Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna tria Naturae, secundem Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentis, Synonymis, Locis. Tom.1 Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii 824 pp.

    Palko, B.J., G.L. Beardsley & 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).

    Pepperell, J. 2010. Fishes of the Open Ocean a Natural History & Illustrated Guide. Sydney : University of New South Wales Press Ltd 266 pp.

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37338002

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Depth:0-200 m



    Max Size:127 cm TL

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