Southern Ladyfish
Elops smithi
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
S, M,  Man, Br 90 Pisc, Cru Sh F
Body long and slender, spindle, oval in cross section. Large eye with long, somewhat superior/
upturned mouth ending below eye. Silvery, with bluish to greenish tones above. Pelvic fins directly below dorsal fin. Fins sometimes with a yellow tint. Tail deeply forked.

Live sublittorally at depths of 0 to 10m (30ft) but can be found down to 50m (160ft). Occurs in several coastal habitats, including seagrass beds, mangrove marsh, impounded salt marshes and sand flats including brackish water. Can form large schools close to the shore. Feed mainly on crustaceans and small fishes. Noted for their habit of skipping along the surface of the water and for jumping after being hooked. Carnivores feeding on bony fish, leaping out of the water for insects, mobile crustaceans and octopus/cuttlefish/shrimps.

Life Cycle:
Grow from 20-30 mm to 200-300 mm during their first year. Presumed to be offshore spawners in the Autumn. Live for at least 6 years. Lays pelagic eggs that hatch into pelagic larvae.
Southern Ladyfish
Southern Ladyfish
(C) Ross Robertson
Note: This is a different species to the (Northern) Ladyfish (E. saurus) found to the North and in the Gulf of Mexico