Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: needlefish (English), marao (Espanol)
          Tylosurus acus melanotus (Bleeker, 1850)

          Agujon needlefish

Elongate, relatively slender, rounded body; both jaws form a very prolonged, beak that is relatively long, slender and upcurved, with many long, pointed teeth (vertical in both juveniles and adults); usually a large bony keel under chin; dorsal fin with long base, 24-26 rays, raised front lobe is relatively low (height 7.5-9.5% of body height), in juveniles the rear section of this fin is also raised;  anal fin  21-24 rays; pectorals and pelvics relatively short (8.1-12.5% and 7.1-10.0% of body length, respectively); tail fin deeply forked, lower lobe much longer; tail base with a keel; 303-405 scales before dorsal fin.

Differs from T. pacificus in usually having a distinct keel under the tip of the chin ( absent in T. pacificus) 24-26 dorsal fin rays (21-23 in T. pacificus), 21-24 anal rays (18-21 in T. pacificus) and in having 89-92 vertebrae (vs 74-80 in T. pacificus).

Dark blue upper body, silvery white below; a blue stripe along the flank; rear elevated lobe of dorsal fin black in juveniles.

          Size: 100 cm.

    Habitat: offshore and coastal waters.

              Depth: 0-10 m.

          An Indo-Pacific subspecies found in our region at the offshore islands (the Revillagigedos, Clipperton, Cocos and Malpelo) as well as at the Tres Marias Islands (Mexico), Isla Gorgona (Colombia), and continental Costa Rica and Panama.   


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific online information system.

Source: Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System

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