BELONIDAE
needlefishes

  Tylosurus choram
(Rüppell, 1837)

Relevant synonyms
None

Misidentification
Tylosurus crocodilus

Meristic formula
D, 20-24; A, 19-22; P, 12-14; V, 6

 drawing : Tuvia Kurz    

SHORT DESCRIPTION
Body very elongated. Both jaws extremely long and pointed, forming a sharp beak shape. Dorsal and anal fins posterior in position opposite each other. Anterior rays much longer than the rest. Pectoral fin short. Caudal fin forked, lower lobe slightly larger than upper lobe. Numerous needle-like teeth in different sizes. Small cycloid scales, deciduous and easily detached.

color : back dark blue with silvery white belly.

size : common 60-80 cm (max. 120 cm).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Tylosorus acus: anterior lobes of dorsal and anal fins relatively short, 10.5-13.3 and 9.7-11.7 times, respectively, in body length (the distance from operculum margin to caudal fin base) (5.4-10.6 and 5.5-8.0 in T. choram).
  • Belone spp.: presence of gillrakers (absence in Tylosurus spp.); less than 20 dorsal rays.

    BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
    Feeds mainly on pelagic fishes caught sideways in their long jaws. Large eggs with adhesive filaments; used to attach the eggs to floating objects.

    habitat : epipelagic mainly in coastal water.


  • 1st MEDITERRANEAN RECORD
    Israel, 1967.


    DISTRIBUTION
    Worldwide : wide Indo-Pacific. Mediterranean : only a single specimen has been recorded, Israel (Parin, 1967).

    ESTABLISHMENT SUCCESS
    Very rare.

    speculated reasons for success :
    -


    MODE OF INTRODUCTION
    Via the Suez Canal.


    IMPORTANCE TO HUMANS
    None in the Mediterranean. In other part of its distribution, commercially important.


    KEY REFERENCES

    • Parin N.V., 1967. Review of the marine Belonidae of the western Pacific and Indian Ocean. Trudy Instituta Okeanologii, 84: 3-83.

    FEEDBACK / COMMENTS TO AUTHORS



    Last update of the species sheet:
    April 2002

    ©ciesm 2002