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Fast Facts: Rumor Has it Dorados are Hopeless Romantics

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and it’s not just for love birds‑ it’s also for love fish.

It is believed by captains, sailors, and mates that dorado, when older, romantically pair up in couples. While animals that mate for life are rare in the animal kingdom, crews often witness this scenario. For example, a mate is almost always nearby when a larger male dorado is spotted. Rumors created by sailors tell stories of dorado exhibiting a tear-jerking behavior where they mate for life, but if one of two is caught, the other will linger in that same area for life, waiting for its partner to return.

Young dorados, also called mahi-mahi or dolphinfish, can often be seen traveling in groups of up to 50 or more fish to minimize their risk of being attacked. As these fish age, they tend to travel in smaller pods and, in some cases, may travel in only pairs. This behavior is believed to have sparked the rumor that they mate for life.

Unlike marine mammals that give birth, dorados are born from eggs and are not given support or nurture from their mother or father. Therefore, survival often depends on their ability to adjust to their surroundings quickly and find shelter in large groups of young dorado.

The dorado fish is one of the fastest-growing fish, reaching sexual maturity within the first 6 – 12 months of life. Female dorado fish can lay anywhere from 100,000 – 1,000,000 eggs at a time and can lay eggs up to two to three times a year. Fertility and laying eggs can occur at any time during the year because these fish do not have a primary mating season. Their average lifespan is three to four years, with a few fish sometimes living to the age of five— these lover-fish live fast and die young.

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2 thoughts on “Fast Facts: Rumor Has it Dorados are Hopeless Romantics


    we captains have called them the rabbits of the ocean ! I for one don’t believe in their fidelity bulls are bulls and hens are attracted.

  • Dave Duncan

    I have often caught a single bull and multiple cows in an area so I don’t think they are monogamous. They only live 3-5 years maximum and for the first half of their lives tend to be found in schools of up to 50 fish so not sure where that theory comes from ‍♂️



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