Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes
(Needle fishes) > Hemiramphidae
Etymology: Hemiramphus: Greek, hemi = half + Greek, rhamphos = bill, peak (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 5 m (Ref. 3723), usually 0 - 2 m (Ref. 40849). Subtropical; 43°N - 13°S
Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil, including the Caribbean Sea (Ref. 3723); absent in Bermuda. Eastern Atlantic: Cape Verde and Dakar, Senegal to Luanda, Angola (Ref. 4497).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 19.3  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 55.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2683); common length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3633); max. published weight: 200.00 g (Ref. 5217)
An inshore, surface-dwelling species forming sizeable schools (Ref. 3723). Feeds mainly on sea grasses and small fishes (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
Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30911)
Fisheries: minor commercial; bait: usually
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 20.5 - 28.1, mean 27.3 °C (based on 858 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5005 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00275 (0.00213 - 0.00357), b=3.12 (3.05 - 3.19), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.3 ±0.1 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 1.9 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.58 questionable; assuming tmax>3).
Prior r = 0.46, 95% CL = 0.28 - 0.77, Based on 1 stock assessment.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100) .