ATLANTIC NEEDLEFISH

FISH PROFILE

COMMON NAME

Atlantic Needlefish

Scientific name

Strongylura marina

FAMILY

Beloniformes family

LENGTH

Up to 27 inches

DIET

Small fish

FISH PROFILE

COMMON NAME

Atlantic Needlefish

Scientific name

Strongylura marina

FAMILY

Beloniformes family

LENGTH

Up to 27 inches

DIET

Small fish

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

Atlantic needlefish have an extremely long, narrow body with very long, very toothy jaws. They are solid silver- or light green-colored. Similar in shape to gar, but needlefish are much more narrow and do not have spots.

RANGE, HABITAT, and BEHAVIOR

Atlantic needlefish can be found in the western Atlantic from Maine to Brazil. These fish are typically a marine and estuary species, but can be found in many of Florida’s springs, even far from the coast. Atlantic needlefish tend to cruise at or near the surface.

FUN FACTS

The needlefish family name is “Beloniformes”, in Greek, ‘Belone’ means ‘needle’. Atlantic needlefish have bright green-blue bones and according to a recent study (2010) are the second most common marine (saltwater) fish, after mullet, observed in 12 of Florida’s major springs. Atlantic needlefish have been found in springs like DeLeon, Homosassa, Ichetucknee, Rainbow, and Weeki Wachee springs.

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