Elops affinis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Elopiformes Elopidae

Scientific Name: Elops affinis
Species Authority: Regan 1909
Common Name(s):
English Ladyfish, Pacific Ladyfish, Tenpounder, Machete
Spanish Diabla, Chiro, Chola, Lisa Macho, Macabi, Machete, Machete del Pacifico, Malacho, Malacho del Pacifico, Pex Torpedo
French Guinée-machète du Pacifique, Guinée Machète du Pacifique
Taxonomic Notes: Closely related to Elops saurus of the western Atlantic.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-03-29
Assessor(s): Adams, A., Guindon, K., Horodysky, A., MacDonald, T., McBride, R., Shenker, J. & Ward, R.
Reviewer(s): Raynal, M. & Harwell, H.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Harwell, H.
Although Elops affinis is widespread, little is known about the life history, ecology, population status, fisheries interactions, or potential threats to this species. It is known to be impacted by dams and reduced river flow in some areas; however,  the quantitative effects of this threat are unknown.  Therefore, this species is listed as Data Deficient.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2010 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is present in the eastern Pacific stretching from southern California to Peru, including Isla del Coco (Eschmeyer and Foung 2008, Follett 1960).
Countries occurrence:
Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southeast
Lower depth limit (metres): 10
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are numerous museum records for this species (more than 80 specimens) (accessed through the Fishnet2 Portal,, 2011-05-14). Landings data are unavailable.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This pelagic oceanodromous species occurs in schools in shallow inshore areas. It penetrates lagoons and estuaries (Whitehead and Rodríguez-Sánchez 1995) in waters up to 10 m depth. Spawning probably occurs in the open ocean and leptocephali larvae migrate towards coastal areas (Whitehead and Rodríguez-Sánchez 1995). Hendricks et al. (1966) reported them in polyculture involving shrimp and fish (up to 40 cm). Maximum size reported is 91 cm TL (Getabu 1987), although commonly reported to 50 cm TL (Whitehead and Rodríguez-Sánchez 1995).
Systems: Marine
Movement patterns: Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species struggles vigorously when caught on hook and line. It has low commercial value due its numerous bones (Whitehead and Rodríguez-Sánchez 1995).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species penetrates estuaries, where it is impacted by dams and reduced river flow in some areas (e.g., Colorado River) (Schooley and Marsh 2007). It has low commercial value due its numerous bones (Whitehead and Rodríguez-Sánchez 1995).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures for this species. However, this species' distribution includes a number of Marine Protected Areas in the Tropical Eastern Pacific region.

Citation: Adams, A., Guindon, K., Horodysky, A., MacDonald, T., McBride, R., Shenker, J. & Ward, R. 2012. Elops affinis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T184047A1745464. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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