The bonefish weighs up to 19 lb (8.6 kg) and measures up to 105 cm (41 in) long. The color of bonefish can range from very silver sides and slight darker backs to olive green backs that blend to the silver side. Slight shading on the scales often lead to very soft subtle lines that run the flank of the fish from the gills to the tail. The bases of the pectoral fins are sometimes 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, Puerto Rico 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.
- "Albulidae" (PDF). Deeplyfish- fishes of the world. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
- Froese, R.; Pauly, D. (2017). "Albulidae". FishBase version (02/2017). Retrieved 18 May 2017.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Albula vulpes" in FishBase. June 2007 version.
- Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince, Frommer's Bahamas, 20th edition, 2012, ISBN 1118287517, p. 27.
- Adams, A., et al. 2012. Albula vulpes. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on 2 June 2013.
- Chico Fernandez, Fly-fishing for Bonefish, 2004, ISBN 081170095X.
- Bonefish and Tarpon Conservation Research
- Hawaiian Bonefish Tagging Program
- Photos of Bonefish on Sealife Collection