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Belone belone  (Linnaeus, 1761)

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Belone belone
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes (Needle fishes) > Belonidae (Needlefishes)
Etymology: Belone: Greek, belone = needle; any fish with sharp pointed snout; also Pierre Belon, 1517-64, French zoologist born in Le Mans. Professor at the College de France, author of " La nature et diversité des poissons", 1551 (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - ? m.   Temperate; 65°N - 14°N, 32°W - 42°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 45 - ? cm
Max length : 93.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 45.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3397); max. published weight: 1.3 kg (Ref. 35388)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 16-20; Anal soft rays: 19 - 23. Jaw teeth comparatively large and widely spaced. Vertebrae 75-84. Vomerine teeth present at lengths greater than 20 cam. Lower jaw a little longer than upper jaw. Juveniles with greatly elongated jaw, without black posterior dorsal fin lobe.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Three subspecies were recognized by Collette and Parin (1970, Ref. 34977) Belone belone belone (Linnaeus, 1761) (Northeast Atlantic); Belone belone euxini Günther, 1866 (Black Sea and Sea of Azov); Belone belone acus Risso, 1827 (Mediterranean Sea and adjacent parts of Atlantic Ocean, Madeira, Canary Islands, Azores, and south to Cape Verde (Ref. 50279); subspecies Belone belone gracilis Lowe, 1839 (France to the Canary Islands including the Mediterranean) in Collette & Parin, 1990 (Ref. 5757).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Lives close to the surface and has a migratory pattern similar to the mackerel (Ref. 35388). Feeds on small fishes, particularly clupeids and Engraulis (in the Black Sea). Leaps out of the water when hooked. Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by tendrils on the egg's surface (Ref. 205). Utilized fresh and frozen; can be fried, broiled and baked (Ref. 9988).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Oviparous (Ref. 205).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Collette, Bruce B. | Collaborators

Collette, B.B. and N.V. Parin, 1986. Belonidae. p. 604-609. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Volume 2. Unesco, Paris. (Ref. 5505)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins
Swim. type
Gill area


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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.6250   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00100 (0.00078 - 0.00128), b=3.04 (2.97 - 3.11), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2; Fec=1000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (48 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.