Overview

Brief Summary

The Istiophoridae family, to which the marlins, sailfishes, and spearfishes belong, are a family of bony fish in the Perciformes order. Nelson (2006) places this family in the Scombroidei suborder, but Collette et al. (2006) places this family into the Xiphiodei suborder together with the similar swordfishes comprising family Xiphiidae.
Members of the Istiophoridae family are characterized by a bill that is rounded; a lateral line retained throughout life; elongate pelvic fins; scales present in the adult; jaws with teeth in the adult; a dorsal fin with a very long base that is sometimes sail-like and is depressible into a groove; 24 vertebrae; and a caudal peduncle in the adult with two keels on each side (Nelson 2006). The members of this family also share many characteristics with the swordfishes, including an elongate premaxillary bill (rostrum) in adults; dorsal fin origin over back of head; pectorals low on body; first dorsal fin lacking true spines, among other traits (see billfish).
Traditional classifications, such as Nelson (2006, 1994), recognize three genera in Istiophoridae: Istiophorus (sailfishes), Tetrapturus (spearfishes), and Makaira (marlins) (Nelson 2006; Agbayani 2008). These taxonomies also recognize the blue and black marlins to comprise the genus Makaira and the white and striped marlins as being part of the spearfish genus of Tetrapturus. However, Collette et al. (2006), utilizing genetic and morphological data, recommend that Istiophoridae be divided into five genera, and this recommendation is followed by the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS 2008), which recognizes the following five genera: Istiompax (black marlin), Istiophorus (sailfish), Kajikia (white and striped marlins), Makaira (blue marlin, marlins), and Tetrapturus (spearfishes).
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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

Distribution: most tropical and subtropical waters. Premaxilla and nasal bones produced, forming a spear-like bill or rostrum with a rounded cross-section. Gill membranes not united to isthmus. Very narrow pelvic fins. Jaw teeth present. Two keels on each side of caudal peduncle in adults. Dorsal fin extending over much of body length; sometimes resembling a sail. Dorsal fin can be depresssed into a groove. Lateral line persists in life. Vertebrae 24. Maximum length 4 m. Bill used for stunning prey fish. The morphological adaptations required for maintaining high brain and retinal temperatures are discussed in Brock et al. 1993 Science 260:210-214. Very popular as game fish.
  • MASDEA (1997).
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Ecology

Associations

Known predators

Istiophoridae is prey of:
Sterna
Pandion haliaetus
Butorides virescens
Chondrichthyes
Homo sapiens

Based on studies in:
USA: New York, Long Island (Marine)
unknown (epipelagic zone, Tropical)
USA, Northeastern US contintental shelf (Coastal)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • G. M. Woodwell, Toxic substances and ecological cycles, Sci. Am. 216(3):24-31, from pp. 26-27 (March 1967).
  • N. V. Parin, Ichthyofauna of the Epipelagic Zone (Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, 1970; U.S. Department of Commerce Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information, Springfield, VA 22151), from p. 154.
  • Link J (2002) Does food web theory work for marine ecosystems? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 230:1–9
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Known prey organisms

Istiophoridae preys on:
Crangon nigromaculata
Atherinidae
Actinopterygii
Cephalopoda
Thunninae
Alepisaurus
Ammodytes marinus
Clupea harengus
Alosa pseudoharengus
Scomber
Peprilus triacanthus
Tridonta arctica
Merluccius bilinearis
Urophycis regia
Urophycis tenuis
Urophycis chuss
Scombridae

Based on studies in:
USA: New York, Long Island (Marine)
unknown (epipelagic zone, Tropical)
USA, Northeastern US contintental shelf (Coastal)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • G. M. Woodwell, Toxic substances and ecological cycles, Sci. Am. 216(3):24-31, from pp. 26-27 (March 1967).
  • N. V. Parin, Ichthyofauna of the Epipelagic Zone (Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, 1970; U.S. Department of Commerce Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information, Springfield, VA 22151), from p. 154.
  • Link J (2002) Does food web theory work for marine ecosystems? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 230:1–9
  • Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 16, 2011 at http://animaldiversity.org. http://www.animaldiversity.org
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:433Public Records:343
Specimens with Sequences:397Public Species:10
Specimens with Barcodes:394Public BINs:6
Species:10         
Species With Barcodes:10         
          
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Barcode data

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Istiophoridae

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Wikipedia

Marlin

For other uses, see Marlin (disambiguation).

A marlin is a fish from the family Istiophoridae. It has an elongated body, a spear-like snout or bill, and a long, rigid dorsal fin which extends forward to form a crest. Its common name is thought to derive from its resemblance to a sailor's marlinspike.[1] Even more so than their close relatives, the scombrids, marlins are fast swimmers, reaching speeds of about 80 km/h (50 mph).[2][3]

The larger species include the Atlantic blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, which can reach 5 m (16.4 ft) in length and 818 kg (1,803 lb) in weight[4] and the black marlin, Istiompax indica, which can reach in excess of 5 m (16.4 ft) in length and 670 kg (1,480 lb) in weight. They are popular sporting fish in tropical areas.

Classification[edit]

The marlins are perciform fish, most closely related to the swordfish and Scombridae.

Timeline of genera[edit]

QuaternaryNeogenePaleogeneHolocenePleist.Plio.MioceneOligoceneEocenePaleoceneMakairaIstiophorusTetrapterusPseudohistiophorusQuaternaryNeogenePaleogeneHolocenePleist.Plio.MioceneOligoceneEocenePaleocene

In literature[edit]

In the Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway's 1952 novel The Old Man and the Sea, the central character of the work is an aged Cuban fisherman who, after 84 days without success on the water, heads out to sea to break his run of bad luck. On the 85th day, Santiago, the old fisherman, hooks a resolute marlin; what follows is a great struggle between man, sea creature, and the elements.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Douglas Harper (November 2001). "marlin". Online Etymological Dictionary. 
  2. ^ Johnson, G.D. & Gill, A.C. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 190–191. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  3. ^ thetravelalmanac.com/lists/fish-speed.htm
  4. ^ http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Makaira-nigricans.html

Sources[edit]

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