atlantic needlefish

characteristics

COMMON NAME

Atlantic Needlefish

Scientific name

Strongylura marina

LENGTH

up to 27 inches

DIET

 Fish

FISH DESCRIPTION

Family: Beloniformes 

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

Diet: Fish

Fun facts:

The needlefish family name is “Beloniformes.” In Greek, ‘Belone’ means ‘needle’.

Needlefish have bright green-blue bones.

Needlefish were the second most common marine (saltwater) fish, after mullet, observed in a 2010 study of 12 of Florida’s major springs. They were found in DeLeon, Homosassa, Ichetucknee, Rainbow, and Weeki Wachee.

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