Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: houndfish (English), needlefish (English), agujón (Espanol), marao (Espanol)
 
Tylosurus crocodilus fodiator Ordan & Gilbert, 1882


Crocodile needlefish,     Hound needlefish,     Houndfish,     Mexican needlefish



Relatively robust; beak relatively short, stout and straight; dorsal rays 18-22 (usually 20); anal rays  17-18 (usually 18); front lobes of dorsal + anal fin relatively high; pectoral rays 14 or 15; pectoral + pelvic fins relatively long; tail fin with concave to slightly forked rear edge, lower lobe longer than upper lobe; a prominent raised keel on side of tail base; 320-361 scales before dorsal fin.


Dark bluish green above, silvery on sides; keel on tail base black

Size: to 159 cm.

Habitat: inshore, pelagic surface.

Depth: 0-10 m?

Circumtropical, with a subspecies endemic to our region: Baja, the Gulf of California to Ecuador, Galapagos, Cocos and Malpelo.   
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Biology

Generally found in coastal waters, but may also be found offshore (Ref. 9279). Feeds mainly on small fishes (Ref. 9279). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by tendrils on the egg's surface (Ref. 205). Marketed fresh and salted (Ref. 9279).
  • Collette, B.B. 1995 Belonidae. Agujones, maraos. p. 919-926. In W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9279)
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is circumtropical. The subspecies Tylosurus crocodilus fodiator is endemic to the Eastern Tropical Pacific, and is found from Baja California and the Gulf of California, Mexico to Ecuador, including the Galapagos, Cocos and Malpelo Islands.
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Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, East Pacific endemic, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic

Regional Endemism: All species, TEP endemic, Continent + Island (s), Continent, Island (s)

Residency: Resident

Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California), Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap), Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos), Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
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Eastern Central Pacific: Gulf of California to Panama, including Cocos Island.
  • Collette, B.B. 1995 Belonidae. Agujones, maraos. p. 919-926. In W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9279)
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Eastern Pacific.
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Eastern Pacific.
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 0 (F) - 10 (F)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 18 - 22; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 17 - 18; Vertebrae: 67 - 72
  • Collette, B.B. 1995 Belonidae. Agujones, maraos. p. 919-926. In W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9279)
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Size

Length max (cm): 159.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 950 mm SL
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Max. size

134 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637)); max. published weight: 9,860 g (Ref. 40637)
  • IGFA 2001 Database of IGFA angling records until 2001. IGFA, Fort Lauderdale, USA. (Ref. 40637)
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Type Information

Paratype for Tylosurus crocodilus fodiator
Catalog Number: USNM 28323
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): C. Gilbert
Year Collected: 1880
Locality: Mexico: Mazatlan., Sinaloa, Mexico, Pacific
  • Paratype: Jordan, D. S. & Gilbert, C. H. 1882. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 4 (254): 459-460.
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Holotype for Tylosurus crocodilus fodiator
Catalog Number: USNM 28190
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): C. Gilbert
Year Collected: 1880
Locality: Mexico: Mazatlan., Sinaloa, Mexico, Pacific
  • Holotype: Jordan, D. S. & Gilbert, C. H. 1882. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 4 (254): 459-460.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This pelagic subspecies is generally found in coastal waters and is reef-associated, but can also be found offshore (Collette 1995).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

pelagic-oceanic; marine
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 2
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Salinity: Marine, Brackish

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Surface, Water column only

Habitat: Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom), Water column

FishBase Habitat: Pelagic
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Trophic Strategy

Generally found in coastal waters, but may also be found offshore. Feeds mainly on small fishes.
  • Collette, B.B. 1995 Belonidae. Agujones, maraos. p. 919-926. In W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9279)
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Feeding

Feeding Group: Carnivore

Diet: octopus/squid/cuttlefish, Pelagic crustacea, bony fishes
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Egg Type: Benthic, Pelagic larva
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Tylosurus crocodilus fodiator

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Collette, B., Acero, A. & Rojas, P.

Reviewer/s
Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This subspecies is widespread, and is abundant throughout its range in the Eastern Pacific. There are no known major threats, and no indication of population decline from commercial fishing of this subspecies. It is listed as Least Concern.
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IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Population

Population
This subspecies is abundant throughout its range.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known for this subspecies.
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no known conservation measures for this subspecies. However, its distribution falls into a number of Marine Protected Areas in the Eastern Tropical Pacific region (WDPA 2006).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
  • Collette, B.B. 1995 Belonidae. Agujones, maraos. p. 919-926. In W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9279)
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