The bonefish weighs up to 19 lb (8.6 kg) and measures up to 90 cm (35 in) long. It is silvery in color with dusky fins. The bases of the pectoral fins are yellow.
An amphidromous species, it lives in inshore tropical waters and moves onto shallow mudflats to feed with the incoming tide. Adults and juveniles may shoal together, and they may be found singly or in pairs.
The bonefish feeds on benthic worms, fry, crustaceans, and mollusks. Ledges, drop-offs, and clean, healthy seagrass beds yield abundant small prey such as crabs and shrimp. It may follow stingrays to catch the small animals they root from the substrate.
Fishing and cuisine
Fly fishing for bonefish, called bonefishing, is a popular sport in the Bahamas and southern Florida. Since bonefish live in shallow inshore water, fishing may be done by wading or from a shallow-draft boat. Bonefishing is mostly done for the sport, so the fish are released, but they may also be eaten. A typical recipe is a split fish seasoned with pepper sauce and salt, then baked.