Mahi-mahi | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Mahi-mahi | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Mahi-mahi Overview


Mahi-mahi also known as the dolphinfish, exhibits a striking appearance with a long, slender body featuring vibrant and iridescent colors. Their dorsal side is a brilliant greenish-blue, while the flanks transition to a dazzling golden-yellow hue.

Dolphinfish possess a distinctive, steeply sloped forehead and a blunt, concave-shaped head. Its dorsal fin extends the length of its body and features a series of small, distinct rays. The overall impression is one of dazzling and beautifully colored fish, making them a sought-after species in both sportfishing and cuisine.

Origins And Evolution

Dolphinfish scientifically known as Coryphaena hippurus, traces its origins to warm waters worldwide, particularly in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Fossil records indicate that its evolutionary lineage dates back to the Miocene epoch.

Over millions of years, they evolved to possess streamlined, torpedo-like bodies for swift swimming, often reaching speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Their vibrant and striking colors may have evolved as a means of attracting mates and communicating within their social structure.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Dolphinfish are highly migratory and pelagic fish, typically found in warm, offshore waters. They prefer the upper layers of the ocean, often swimming near floating objects, such as debris or seaweed, which serve as shelter and a source of food.

It is carnivorous, preying on smaller fish, squid, and crustaceans. They are known for their solitary lifestyle but may also form loose aggregations. Their hunting behavior is opportunistic, often chasing down prey and using their speed and agility to capture it.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
  • Phylum: Chordata (Chordates)
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata (Vertebrates)
  • Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned Fishes)
  • Order: Perciformes (Perch-like Fishes)
  • Family: Coryphaenidae
  • Genus: Coryphaena
  • Species: Coryphaena hippurus


  • Tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Indian Ocean
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Caribbean Sea
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Hawaiian Islands
  • Western Africa's coast
  • Southeast Asia
  • Australia's northern waters

Fast Facts

  • Name: Dolphinfish
  • Scientific Name: Coryphaena hippurus
  • Habitat: Open Oceans
  • Diet: Fish, Squid
  • Physical Features: Vibrant Colors
  • Nocturnal: Daytime Hunter
  • Solitary: Often Alone
  • Unique Order: Perciform Fish
  • Lifespan: 4-5 years
  • Conservation Status: Low Concern
  • Fun Facts: Rapid Grower

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Vibrant Hues
  • Skin Type: Smooth Scales
  • Top Speed: Swift Swimmer
  • Lifespan: 4-5 Years
  • Weight: Moderate Size
  • Length: Up to 6 ft
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: 4-5 Years
  • Age of Weaning: Early Juveniles


Q: What is Mahi-mahi and why is it called dolphinfish?

Ans: Dolphinfish known as the dolphinfish, is a species of fish with vibrant colors. It's called "dolphinfish" due to its resemblance to the shape and colors of the common dolphin.

Q: Where can Dolphinfish be found?

Ans: They are typically found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide, particularly in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Q: Is Dolphinfish a good fish to eat?

Ans: Yes, Dolphinfish is known for its mild, sweet flavor and firm, flaky texture, making it a popular choice for seafood dishes.

Q: Does Mahi-mahi change colors?

Ans: Yes, it can change colors when they are excited or during mating displays. Their vibrant hues become even more pronounced.

Q: How big do Mahi-mahi grow?

Ans: Dolphinfish can reach lengths of up to 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) and weigh up to 40 pounds (18 kilograms) or more.

Q: Are Mahi-mahi solitary fish?

Ans: Yes, Dolphinfish are often solitary, although they may form loose aggregations, especially around floating objects.


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