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DOLPHIN - CORYPHAENA HIPPURUS

Family Coryphaenidae, DOLPHINS

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 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).

Similar fish: N/A

Where found: OOFFSHORE 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 and squid.

Florida record: 77 lbs., 12 ozs.