Tylosurus acus

Common Name

Agujon Needlefish

Year Described

Lacep├Ęde, 1803

Identification

Dorsal Fin: 22-26
Anal Fin: 20-24
Pectoral Fin: 13-14
Pelvic Fin: 6
Vertebrae: 90-95

A very large needlefish. Very elongate and rounded in cross-section. Jaws long and thin. Dorsal and anal fins with raised anterior lobes. Caudal fin with enlarged lower lobe. Caudal peduncle with a small keel. Scales tiny (320-390 in predorsal series).

Color

Bright silvery with an abruptly dark blue to green back. A lateral stripe is variably expressed. A dusky bar is present on the cheek. The dorsal and caudal fin are dusky.

Size

Maximum size to 130cm SL. Common to 90cm SL.

Habitat

Pelagic in offshore habitats. Not as common inshore than the related Houndfish.

Range

New England to Argentina, including the Caribbean islands. Also Bermuda.

References

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.