needlefish

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needlefish

needlefish, common name for members of the family Belonidae, which comprises species of elongated, surface-swimming predaceous fish abundant in warm seas. They have beaklike jaws armed with sharp teeth, giving them a superficial resemblance to the gar; some needlefishes reach a length of 6 ft (1.8 m). The Atlantic needlefish, Strongylura marina, also known as the garfish or saltwater gar, may be 3.6 ft (1.1 m) long but is usually smaller; it is found in Atlantic coastal waters and estuaries from Maine to Brazil. The similar garfish or sea needle, Belone belone, of Europe is found from Iceland and the Baltic Sea south to W Africa and east to the Black Sea. Garfishes resemble twigs and are often mistaken for them when lying motionless at the surface of the water. They swim in small schools and occasionally leap clear of the water in their pursuit of smaller fish. The flesh is palatable, although the greenish bones make it repellent to some. Other species include the billfish, the houndfish, and the agujon, an important food fish of Puerto Rico. The halfbeaks and balaos, family Hemiramphidae, smaller than needlefishes and with only the lower jaw extended, are a herbivorous family related to the needlefishes and the flying fish. Needlefishes are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Beloniformes, family Belonidae.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Reproduction biology of the Garfish, Belone euxini Gunther, 1866 (Belonidae: Belone) in the Southeast Black Sea.
Our study indicates that during the breeding season, the osprey diet in the Canaries is mainly composed of flying fishes (belonging to the family Exocoetidae) and needlefish (belonging to the family Belonidae), species whose abundance is probably related to their very low commercial fisheries value (G.
A variety of needlefish species (Belonidae) were captured, with only a few sold by the piece, and no bulk sales of needlefish were reported.
Heterochrony in jaw morphology of needle-fishes (Teleostei: Belonidae).
The least abundant family was Botiidae and the least diverse families were Cobiidae, Heteropneustidae, Belonidae and Mugilidae represented by only one species for each (Table II).
1 (18) Antennariidae Histrio histrio 13 (9-45) 4 (7-36) 6 (12-46) Mugilidae Mugil curema 1 (14) Unidentified 2 (13-14) Belonidae Ablennes hians * 14 (33-374) 8 (90-393) Platybelone argalus * 2 (149-155) 3 (149-236) Tylosurus acus 18 (53-336) 14 (63-481) Tylosurus crocodilus * 1 (201) Tylosurus sp.
Atheriniformes Belonidae Pseudotylosurus angusticeps Gunther, 1866 Synbranchiformes Synbranchidae Symbranchus marmoratus Bloch, 1795 Perciformes Cichlidae Aequidens tetramerus Hecke1, 1840 Apistogramma sp.
Florida's halfbeak fishery is highly selective, and only low numbers of flyingfishes (Exocoetidae) and needlefishes (Belonidae) are consistently caught as bycatch (Berkeley et al., 1975).
Among the few remains, fish have been identified as belonging to the Serranidae (probably Trachypoma macracanthum), Holocentridae, Belonidae, Scropaenidade, Carcharhinidae and shark families (Mulloy, 1961).
Cyprinidae was the richest family and was represented by 20 species, Nemacheilidae by 4, Sisoridae by 6, Channidae and Schilbidae by 2, Mastacembelidae, Schilbidae, Belonidae and Chandidae by single species.