Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus 1758

Other Names: Common Dolphinfish, Dolphin, Dolphin Fish, Dolphin-fish, Dorado, Mahimahi, Mahi-mahi

A Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus. Source: Bill & Mark Bell / Flickr EOL. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike


A brilliantly coloured slender, very compressed fish with a large blunt to very steep head, and a single long-based dorsal fin extending from the head almost to the tail. Iridescent bluish-green above, silvery-golden below with small dark spots on sides, dorsal fin dark green to deep blue; other fins usually yellow to orange.

Brilliant video of flyingfish trying to escape from Mahi Mahi and frigate birds.

Fabulous footage of Mahi Mahi, Striped Marlin (Kajikia audax), Sea Lions and a whale feeding on a school of sardines off Baja California, Mexico.

Footage of a Mahi Mahi (aka Dorado), being attached by a Blue Marlin, Makaira nigricans, off Costa Rica.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Coryphaena hippurus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jun 2024,

Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus 1758

More Info


Widespread in all tropical and temperate oceans and in the Mediterranean Sea, most commonly in waters with temperatures ranging between 21-30°C. This pelagic surface dweller rarely ventures inshore, and individuals often aggregate beneath floating debris, Sargassum algae, or around structures such as oil rigs. The depth rage is 0-100 m.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin 50–65; Anal fin 25–30; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 17–21; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 196–320; Gill rakers (lower limb) 8–11; Vertebrae 31.

Body depth 20–28% SL, adults progressively deeper; head length 20–28% SL, forehead profile of young slightly convex, becoming progressively steeper with growth, nearly vertical in large males; teeth on tongue in small oval patch.


Maximum total length is 2 m, although most reach about one metre in length. According to the international gamefish records, the largest specimen caught (off Costa Rica) weighed 39.46 kg (IGFA 2011).


Variably and brilliantly coloured, mostly metallic bluish‑green above, silvery‑golden below, but flashing iridescent colours in accordance with behavioural states; dorsal fin dark green to deep blue; other fins usually yellow to orange; colours fade rapidly after death.


Carnivore - feeds mostly on smaller pelagic fishes (flyingfishes, garfishes), crustaceans and squids. This very fast swimmer is often seen leaping from water while hunting prey or avoiding predators.


This fast-growing species matures relatively early, and spawning reportedly occurs in the open ocean year-round in tropical waters.


Important commercially and recreationally throughout its range, and considered excellent eating. The species is also aquacultured in parts of its range.


IUCN Red List: Least Concern.
EPBC Act: Not listed.
Fished throughout its range. It can be locally abundant, is fast-growing, early maturing and short-lived. There are some localized declines in catch that may be related to overfishing. However, there is no indication that this species is undergoing significant population declines (Collette et al. 2011)


There have been reports of ciguatera poisoning from the consumption of Mahi Mahi.

Species Citation

Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus 1758, Syst. Nat. 10: 261. Type locality: Mediterranean Sea.


Dianne J. Bray

Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus 1758


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Collette, B., Acero, A., Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Canales Ramirez, C., Cardenas, G., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Montano Cruz, R., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Schaefer, K., Serra, R., Sun, C., Teixeira Lessa, R.P., Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E., Uozumi, Y. & Yanez, E. 2011. Coryphaena hippurus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <>. Downloaded on14 December 2011.

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37338001

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-100 metres

Fishing:Commercial & sports fish


Max Size:210 cm TL ; 40 kg

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CAAB distribution map