Blue Marlin

COMMON NAME: Blue Marlin

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Makaira nigricans

TYPE: Fish

DIET: Carnivore


AVERAGE LIFE SPAN: 27 years (females); 18 years (males)

SIZE: Up to 14 feet

WEIGHT: Up to 1,985 pounds


White Marlin

Species name: Tetrapturus albidus (Poey 1860)
Synonyms for use: Kajikia albida (Poey, 1860)
ICCAT species code: WHM
ICCAT names: White needle (Spanish), Makaire Blanc (French), White Marlin (English)

Nakamura (1985) classified the white needle as follows:

  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Superclass: Gnathostomata
  • Class: Osteichthyes
  • Subclass: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Suborder: Xiphioidei
  • Family: Istiophoridae

Mahi-Mahi (Dorado)

The dolphin fish is not a dolphin. Unlike dolphins, which are mammals, dolphin fish are a type of rayfinned fish. The dolphin fish most likely got its confusing common name because it was previously classified in the genus Dolfyn. It also has a melon-shaped head, much like that of a true dolphin. In the modern classification system, the fish belongs to the genus Coryphaena.


Fast Facts: Dolphin Fish

  • Scientific NameCoryphaena hippurus (common dolphin fish); Coryphaena equiselis (pompano dolphin fish)
  • Other Names: Dolphinfish, dolphin, mahi-mahi, dorado, pompano
  • Distinguishing Features: Brilliantly colored fish with single dorsal fin spanning the length of the body; males have protruding foreheads
  • Average Size: 1 meter in length and up to 40 kilograms (88 lb) weight
  • Diet: Carnivorous
  • Life Span: Up to 5 years, but usually less than 2 years
  • Habitat: Temperate, subtropical, and tropical oceans worldwide
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Coryphaenidae
  • Fun Fact: The dolphin fish is a very fast swimmer, reaching speeds of nearly 60 mph.


There are two species of dolphin fish. The common dolphin fish (also known as mahi-mahi or dorado) is C. hippurus. The other species of dolphin fish is C. equiselis, which is also known as the pompano dolphin fish.

Pompano dolphin fish are sometimes mistaken for juvenile common dolphin fish or mahi-mahi because they are small, reaching a maximum length of 127 centimeters (50 in). Pompano dolphin fish are bright blue-green with silver-gold sides. The fish fade in color to dull gray-green when they die.