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Do Mahi Mahi Have Scales

Do Mahi Mahi Have Scales

Mahi Mahi, also known as dolphinfish or dorado, are large saltwater fish found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. These fast-swimming predators are highly sought after by recreational and commercial fishermen. But do mahi mahi have scales?

Quench Your Thirst for Knowledge: Is Mahi Mahi A Dolphin?

Yes, Mahi Mahi Have Scales

Mahi mahi are covered in small, smooth cycloid scales that overlap from head to tail. The scales are generally blue, green, or yellow in color and help reduce drag so the fish can swim faster.

Having scales is one reason mahi mahi are considered a kosher fish in Jewish dietary laws. The scales are tied to the mahi mahi’s nervous system and help produce the colorful shimmering effects when caught.

So in summary, the defining oval body shape and long dorsal fin of the mahi mahi is covered in unique, small scales that aid its speed and coloration.

Key Facts About Mahi Mahi Scales:

  • Type: Cycloid – smooth, oval shaped
  • Color: Blue, green, yellow
  • Function: Reduces drag, aids speed
  • Sensory: Linked to nervous system
  • Kosher diet: Qualifies as kosher fish

Do Other Fish Have Scales?

Most fish are covered in scales of some kind. Here are a few examples:

  • Salmon: Large cycloid scales
  • Tuna: Thick, bony ctenoid scales
  • Seabass: Hard diamond-shaped ganoid scales
  • Sharks: Tiny placoid scales or denticles

The main exceptions are fish like eels and catfish that have no scales at all.

Scale Types and Features:

Scale TypeFeatures
CycloidSmooth oval disks with small ridges
CtenoidRougher with tooth-like edges
GanoidThick diamond shape with ornamental spikes
PlacoidTiny and tooth-like on sharks


In summary, mahi mahi are covered in unique, small cycloid scales that help them achieve their fast speeds and flash colorful displays. Scales are a defining feature of most bony fish species, with different structural adaptations for defense, movement, and more. So a clear yes – mahi mahi do have scales!

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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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