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Tetrapturus belone  Rafinesque, 1810

Mediterranean spearfish
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Tetrapturus belone   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Tetrapturus belone (Mediterranean spearfish)
Tetrapturus belone
Picture by Cruscanti, M.

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

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Istiophoridae (Billfishes)
Etymology: Tetrapturus: Greek, tetra = four + Greek, pteron, fin, wing (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Rafinesque.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 200 m (Ref. 43).   Deep-water; 46°N - 32°N, 6°W - 36°E (Ref. 43)

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 240 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4770); common length : 200 cm OT male/unsexed; (Ref. 43); max. published weight: 70.0 kg (Ref. 43)

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

Mediterranean Sea: considerably abundant around Italy. No confirmed report from the Black Sea. No adults have been reported east of the Ionean Sea. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139). Reportedly caught from the Aegean Sea (Pennetti, pers. comm.).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

This species is the most common istiophorid in the central basin of the Mediterranean and completes its life cycle inside this sea as far as is known to date. Probably swims in the upper 200 m water layer, generally above or within the thermocline. Travels in pairs, possibly corresponding to a feeding behavior. Feeds on fishes. Probably more widespread in the Mediterranean Sea and may have been identified as T. albidus by anglers and fishermen.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Nakamura, I., 1985. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 5. Billfishes of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of marlins, sailfishes, spearfishes and swordfishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(5):65p. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 43)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5630   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.80 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Assuming tmax>10).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (48 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.