Tylosurus crocodilus

Common Name


Year Described

PĂ©ron & Lesueur, 1821


Dorsal Fin: 21-23
Anal Fin: 18-22
Pectoral Fin: 13-15
Pelvic Fin: 6
Vertebrae: 80-84

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 (240-290 in predorsal series).


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


Maximum size to over 100cm SL. Common to 90cm SL.


A pelagic species occurring in open water. Frequently enters shallower coastal waters.


North Carolina to Brazil, including the Caribbean islands. 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.