Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes
(Needle fishes) > Belonidae
Etymology: Tylosurus: Greek, tylos = callus + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 13 m (Ref. 58302). Tropical; 26°C - 29°C (Ref. 4959); 21°N - 1°N
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573); common length : 90.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9682); max. published weight: 6.4 kg (Ref. 40637)
soft rays: 19 - 22;
Vertebrae: 80 - 86. Back dark bluish, sides silvery, white ventrally (Ref. 5317). A distinct black lateral keel on caudal peduncle; caudal fin deeply forked. Juveniles (to 20 cm BL) have an elevated black lobe in the posterior part of the dorsal fin. Jaw teeth point anteriorly in juveniles (to 40 cm BL) but are straight at all sizes in other species of Tylosurus (Ref. 9682). Has a relatively stout, cylindrical body and a shorter head as compared to other needle fishes.
Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and South Africa (Ref. 5317) to French Polynesia (Ref. 6784), north to Japan (Ref. 559), south to New South Wales, Australia (Ref. 33390). Replaced by Tylosurus crocodilus fodiator in the eastern Pacific. Western Atlantic: New Jersey, USA to Brazil (Ref. 7251). Eastern Atlantic: Fernando Poo, Cameroon, Liberia, and Ascension Island (Ref. 5757); from Senegal and Guinea (Ref. 28587); and Cape Verde (Ref. 27000). Recorded from the Mediterranean Sea (Ref. 83387).
A pelagic species (Ref. 26340) found over lagoon and seaward reefs. Solitary or in small groups. Feeds on fishes (Ref. 11889). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by tendrils on the egg's surface (Ref. 205). Feared by fishers because they can cause puncture wounds with their sharp snouts when jumping out of the water, e.g. when alarmed or attracted to lights at night. Although sold fresh and considered a good food fish, its market is limited due to the green-colored flesh (Ref. 5217). Widespread in tropical Indo-Pacific, divisible in two subspecies (Ref 90102).
Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene, 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 506 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5156 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00107 (0.00067 - 0.00171), b=3.11 (2.97 - 3.25), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.8 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (72 of 100) .