Hyporhamphus unifasciatus

Common Name

Atlantic Silverstripe Halfbeak

Year Described

Ranzani, 1841


Dorsal Fin: 13-16 (usually 15)
Anal Fin: 14-18 (usually 16-17)
Pectoral Fin: 9-12 (usually 10-11)
Pelvic Fin: 6
Gill Rakers: 26-35 (first arch)

Lower jaw elongate. Preorbital ridge present and snout covered in scales. Pectoral fin relatively short: does not extend past nasal opening when depressed forward*. Caudal fin moderately forked, with lower lobe enlarged. Dorsal and anal fin covered with scales.


Body silvery with an olive to bluish back. Three narrow lines run from the head to the dorsal fin. Silvery lateral stripe uniform in width for entire length. Lower jaw with a red tip. Caudal fin pale with a dark posterior border.


Maximum size to 27cm TL.


An inshore schooling species found near the surface. Often in mangrove areas and estuaries.


S. Florida to Uruguay, including the Caribbean Sea and the S. Gulf of Mexico.


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.

Contreras-Balderas, S., M.L. Lozano-Vilano, and M.E. Garcia Ramirez. 1997. Distributional and ecological notes on the halfbeaks of eastern Gulf of Mexico, with a provisional key for their identification. Gulf Research Reports. January 94: 327-331.

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.

Other Notes

Records of this species north of S. Florida refer to Hyporhamphus meeki. Replaced in Bermuda by H. collettei.