Scientific name Megalops atlanticus
Descriptor valenciennes
Year of description 1847
IUCN category VU
Family Megalopidae
Genus Megalops
Megalops atlanticus Megalops atlanticus


Megalops atlanticus, commonly known as tarpon, is a brackish water and salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    130 cm
  • Maximum size
    250 cm
  • Longevity
    55 year
  • Average size
    130 cm
  • Maximum size
    250 cm
  • Longevity
    55 year

How to recognize the tarpon ?

The tarpon measures between 130 and 250 cm. This fish is unicolore with a predominantly argent body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
    living in shoals
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The tarpon is a fish living in shoals naturally found mid-depth and near surface. This species is carnivorous .

Although the tarpon is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond en eau libre

The tarpon is a fish ovipare qui pond en eau libre.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    20 - 28 °C
  • Depth
    0 - 40 m

Biotope presentation

The tarpon is most often found at a depth between 0m and 40m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Bibliographic references

New record and revised list of Megalops atlanticus (Elopiformes: Megalopidae) from Atlantic European waters - Rafael Bañón - Carlos Farias - Alejandro De Carlos - Juan Carlos Arronte - José L. Varela - Alberto Arias - David Barros-García - Enrique González-Ortegón - Cybium - 2016. Cybium proofs: 1-5.

REPRODUCTION OF TARPON, MEGALOPS ATLANTICUS, FROM FLORIDA AND COSTA RICAN WATERS AND NOTES ON THEIR AGE AND GROWTH - Roy E. Crabtree - Edward C. Cyr - Didiher Chacón Chaverri - William O. McLarney - John M. Dean - BULLETIN OF MARINE SCIENCE, - 1997. 61(2): 271–285, 1997

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