Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes
(Needle fishes) > Hemiramphidae
Etymology: Hemiramphus: Greek, hemi = half + Greek, rhamphos = bill, peak (Ref. 45335).
More on author: Forsskål.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 6 m (Ref. 86942). Subtropical; 35°N - 36°S, 18°E - 159°W
Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to Samoa, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to northern Australia and New Caledonia. Migrated to the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 23.1, range 18 - ? cm
Max length : 45.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5450); max. reported age: 4 years (Ref. 126539)
soft rays: 10 - 12. Greatly prolonged, beak-like lower jaw; upper jaw short, triangular and without scales; preorbital ridge absent; total number of gill rakers on first gill arch 25-36; pectoral fins short, not reaching past nasal pit when folded forward; with 3-9 (usually 4-6) vertical bars on the sides. (Ref. 9843). Color bluish dorsally, silvery on sides. 36-41 predorsal scales. Lower lobe of caudal fin longer than upper lobe. Dorsal and anal fins located posteriorly.
Occur in coastal waters of high islands and continental shorelines; generally in areas rich in vegetation (Ref. 5213) and sand flats (Ref. 48635). Form schools. Adults feed mainly on seagrasses, to a lesser extent on green algae and diatoms (Ref. 9843). Breed in estuaries (Ref. 4164). Marketed fresh and dried salted (Ref. 5284, 9843); meat tasty (Ref. 637). Also caught with dragnets (Ref. 30573) and dipnets.
Collette, B.B. and J. Su, 1986. The halfbeaks (Pisces, Beloniformes, Hemiramphidae) of the Far East. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 138(1):250-301. (Ref. 10943)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; bait: occasionally
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 24.7 - 29.3, mean 28.5 °C (based on 3383 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5005 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00302 (0.00189 - 0.00483), b=3.09 (2.96 - 3.22), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.9 ±0.39 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (24 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 79.5 [30.2, 207.0] mg/100g ; Iron = 1.31 [0.58, 2.60] mg/100g ; Protein = 18.3 [16.0, 20.5] % ; Omega3 = 0.334 [0.122, 0.993] g/100g ; Selenium = 21.9 [7.4, 58.6] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 34.3 [6.6, 178.0] μg/100g ; Zinc = 1.4 [0.8, 2.6] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.