Ablennes hians

Common Name

Flat Needlefish

Year Described

Valenciennes, 1846


Dorsal Fin: 23-26
Anal Fin: 24-28
Pectoral Fin: 13-15
Pelvic Fin: 6
Vertebrae: 93-97

Very elongate and laterally compressed. Jaws long and thin. Dorsal and anal fins much longer than in other needlefishes and have falcate anterior lobes. The pectoral and pelvic fins are also falcate. Caudal fin with enlarged lower lobe. Caudal peduncle without keels.


Brilliant silver body with an abruptly dark blue back. A lateral stripe is often present. There are 12-14 dark bars on the body. The dorsal fin is dark blue with a darker rear lobe. Other fins dark blue.


Maximum size to 83 cm SL. Common to 70 cm SL.


Oceanic, offshore epipelagic


Widespread from New England to Argentina. Also Bermuda.


Collette, B.B. 2002. Belonidae (pp 1104-1113). In: Carpenter. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 2: Bony fishes part 1 (Acipenseridae-Grammatidae). FAO Species Identification Guides for Fisheries Purposes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5.