Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes
(Needle fishes) > Hemiramphidae
Etymology: Hemiramphus: Greek, hemi = half + Greek, rhamphos = bill, peak (Ref. 45335). More on authors: Gilbert & Starks.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - ? m. Subtropical
Eastern Pacific: southern California, USA to Panama, including the Galapagos Islands; rare in northern Baja California, Mexico. Range extends to Ecuador (Ref. 36576).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 48.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850); common length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9306)
soft rays: 11 - 13;
Vertebrae: 54 - 58. Body elongate; lower jaw very prolonged; upper jaw short, triangular, and without scales; lower branch of first gill arch with 26 to 32 gill rakers; fins lacking spines; pectoral fins long; caudal fin deeply forked, the lower lobe longer than the upper; anal fin with 10 to 13 rays; back dark blue; flanks and belly silvery white; edge of lower jaw red; upper lobe of caudal fin violet blue, its tip red (Ref. 55763). Branchiostegal rays: 13-15 (Ref. 36576).
An oceanic species which occurs near surface. Adults form very big schools (Ref. 9306). Feed on small fishes and planktonic organisms (Ref. 9306). Oviparous, with planktonic larvae (Ref. 36576). Eggs are attached to floating objects via filaments (Ref. 36576). Found in markets of Panama (Ref. 9306).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. xii+336 p. (Ref. 2850)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; bait: occasionally
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 15.2 - 26.4, mean 19.7 (based on 68 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5005 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00288 (0.00132 - 0.00630), b=3.11 (2.92 - 3.30), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.65 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100) .