Scientific name: Albula vulpes
Other names: bone.
It is one of the most popular saltwater fishes and a member of the grand slam.
Distribution: There are many species within bonefish (Vulpes, Nemoptera, Glossodont, Neoguinaica, Forsteri) that populate the subtropics of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Among these species there are slight morphological differences.
Weights and measures: This fish can weigh in average 2 to 6 pounds, even though there are specimens that can weigh over two digits. The world record was 21 pounds, still they can weigh up to 22 pounds and measure over 1 meter long. An interesting fact is that 16 of the 23 world records for this species were captured in Florida (USA).
Habitat and life cycle: Juvenile fish move in shoals, while adults move either alone or in pairs. They prefer shallow coastal waters over sandy bottoms as for example the flats, but they can also be found in large lagoons or bays surrounded by mangroves.
This fish is characterized by its high tolerance to water poor in oxygen as its bladder has the capacity to inhale air like a lung.
This species uses the estuaries as breeding areas and to feed as well when adults. It is believed that spawning occurs from late winter through late spring, depending on their location. Young fish migrate to the open sea and feed on plankton, when then return they prefer shallow waters.
Features: It has a compact and cylindrical silver body with a conical snout in front of a mouth devoided of teeth, as they are placed in the pharynx.
One feature that stands out is its stiff body; you just need to grab them to feel the strength of their muscles.
Diet: It feeds on crabs, mollusks, shrimp, clams, marine worms and small fish. They prefer to feed during high tide, when they have the chance to enter in lagoon areas surrounded by mangrove swamps and flats with sandy bottom.
They stir up the sandy bottom with its snout searching for food; as they are upside down with the tail towards the surface it is easy to distinguish them.