Very long body covered with small, thin, silvery scales. It is silver-colored throughout most of the body, a more bluish hue around the dorsal fin, and a ventral surface yellowish or white. It's color and very uniform body give off the impression of a large minnow.

Maximum Size

Reaches a maximum length of about 3.3 feet (1 m), but usually less than 2 feet (60 cm). Can reach weights of over 20 pounds (9 kg).

Geographic Range

Found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Bermuda and southern New England (but uncommon north of Cape Hatteras) to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Can also be found, though  a smaller population in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans.


Bays, estuaries, lagoons, mangrove areas, and tidal canals. Ladyfish tend to avoid coral reef areas, and have been known to swim up to fresh water areas, though not too much.


Small fish and crustaceans, especially shrimp.


Much is unknown about the ladyfish's spawning life. They spawn offshore, but exact locations remain unknown for the most part, as do the exact age of reproductive maturity for this elusive fish.Spawning time takes place mainly in the fall.


Marine birds and bigger carnivorous fish.

Information courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.

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