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| Common names: tarpon (English), sábalo (Espanol), tarpón (Espanol) |
Megalops atlanticus Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1847
Body oblong but elongate, strongly compressed; head short, deep, profile straight above, convex below; eye large; mouth large, oblique, opening above, lower jaw projecting; a long bony plate between lower jaws; teeth small, simple, on jaws, roof of mouth, tongue and lower base of gill arches; one dorsal fin, 13-16 rays, last filamentous; anal fin base much larger than dorsal fin base; pelvic fins on abdomen; tail fin large, deeply forked; lateral line complete, tubes with branches radiating over surface of lateral line scales; scales very large, smooth; 41-48 on lateral line.
Bright silver, back greyish, fins grey.
Size: 250 cm; 128.5 kg.
Habitat: estuaries, occasionally around reefs; enters freshwater.
Depth: 0-30 m.
Western Atlantic; presumably arrived in the eastern Pacific by passing through the Panama Canal; may now be established in the Gulf of Panama; not infrequently available at Panama City fishmarket.