Albula nemoptera

Common Name

Shafted Bonefish

Year Described

Fowler, 1911


Dorsal Fin: 19-20
Anal Fin: 8-9
Pelvic Fin: 9-10
Pectoral Fin: 16-17
Gill Rakers: 3-4 upper, 8-9 lower (rudimentary)
Lateral Line: 76-84

Body moderately elongate and rounded in cross-section. Frontal profile almost straight. Snout quite pointed with an inferior mouth that reaches to beyond anterior eye margin. Gular plate present. Eye relatively large. Branchiostegal rays number 10-15. Dorsal fin is high at mid-body and has a greatly lengthened last ray. Pectoral fin is low on body. Pelvic fin is abdominal and under middle of dorsal fin base. Anal fin located far back on body near caudal fin and has a prolonged last ray. Tail is strongly forked. Body with moderate scales.


Brilliant silver with numerous alternating dusky/silver stripes on body (following scale rows). Head greenish. Fins dusky with white edging.


Maximum size to 35cm TL.


Sandy bottoms in coastal waters and in estuaries. Occurs deeper on average than the Common Bonefish.


Caribbean Sea: the Greater Antilles, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil. Possibly from the Florida Keys.


Bowen, B.W., S.A. Karl & E. Pfeiler. 2008. Resolving evolutionary lineages and taxonomy of bonefishes (Albula spp.). In: J.S. Ault (ed.), Biology and Management of the World Tarpon and Bonefish Fisheries, pp. 147-154. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida.

Smith, D.G. 2002. Albulidae. In: FAO Species Identification Guide to Fishes of the Western Atlantic. (ed. Carpenter K), pp. 683-684. UN FAO Publishers, Rome.

Other Notes

The Eastern Pacific population, once considered conspecific with the Caribbean population, is now considered to be a separate species (Albula pacifica) (Bowen et al., 2008).