Hemiramphus brasiliensis

Common Name

Ballyhoo Halfbeak

Year Described

Linnaeus, 1758


Dorsal Fin: 12-15 (usually 13-14)
Anal Fin: 12-14 (usually 13)
Pectoral Fin: 10-12 (usually 11)
Pelvic Fin: 6
Gill Rakers: 28-36 (first arch)
Vertebrae: 52-55

Lower jaw elongate. Preorbital ridge absent and snout scaleless. Pectoral fin relatively short: does not extend past nasal opening when depressed forward. Caudal fin forked with lower lobe much longer than upper lobe.


Body bright silvery with a blue lateral stripe, often with a yellowish sheen on dorsum. Lower jaw blue with a red tip. Lower caudal lobe blue and upper lobe orange-yellow. Anterior dorsal fin often orange-yellow.


Maximum size to 40.5cm TL.


Inshore forming large schools near the surface.


Massachusetts to S. Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.


Collette, B.B. 2002. Hemiramphidae (pp 1135-1144). 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.

McEachran, J.D. and J.D. Fechhelm. 1998. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 1: Myxiniformes to Gasterosteiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin. i-viii + 1-1112.