Elopidae - tenpounders

Tenpounders are elongate fishes with the distinguishing characteristic of possessing a gular plate, i.e. a bony plate on the throat. Tarpon and bonefish families also share this characteristic. The larvae of tenpounders, along with tarpon and bonefishes, have an elongate, highly compressed, transparent, eel-like appearance called leptocephalid larvae. They can be distinguished from true eel larvae by the shape of their caudal fins which are forked in these families vs. rounded or pointed in the eel families. As the larvae grow, they shrink and metamorphose into the adult shape. Tenpounders are a good game fish and put up a tremendous fight when hooked. They are not, however, considered a good food fish. They are more often used as fish meal. One species occurs in our area, the ladyfish. Although called tenpounders, ladyfish rarely exceed three pounds.