Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes
(Needle fishes) > Hemiramphidae
Etymology: Hemiramphus: Greek, hemi = half + Greek, rhamphos = bill, peak (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 5 - ? m (Ref. 3723). Subtropical; 42°N - 13°S, 98°W - 14°E
Western Atlantic: New York, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil (Ref. 7251); including the Caribbean Sea (Ref. 3723). Eastern Atlantic: from Morocco to the Canary Islands (Ref. 57227) and in the Gulf of Guinea from Victoria, Nigeria to south to Luanda, Angola (Ref. 4497). Reported from Côte d'Ivoire (Ref. 28587, 57227).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3633); common length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3633)
soft rays: 10 - 13. Diagnosis: body elongate; lower jaw forming long, narrow beak; upper jaw short, triangular and scaled; absence of scales on snout; no preorbital crest between eye and nasal pit; pelvic fins abdominal; dorsal and anal fins placed far back on body and spineless; caudal fin deeply forked (Ref. 57227).
An inshore, surface-dwelling fish which forms sizeable schools (Ref. 3723). Feeds on small fishes and plankton (Ref. 3723). Mainly used as bait for offshore game fishes such as sailfishes and marlins; utilized as a food fish in the West Indies (Ref. 3723).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Collette, B.B. and N.V. Parin, 1990. Hemiramphidae. p. 579-582. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 4497)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; bait: usually
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 21.1 - 28.1, mean 27.2 (based on 1007 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5005 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00295 (0.00145 - 0.00602), b=3.12 (2.95 - 3.29), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (18 of 100) .