Home > Fishes > Needlefishes & Halfbeaks

Family Belonidae

Needlefishes

Needlefishes are voracious predators of small fishes just below the water's surface.  The mouth has jaws of equal length lined with large needle-like teeth. The lower lobe of the caudal fin is elongated to provide lift as it skitters along the water's surface when disturbed and large fish have caused fatalities when accidentally running into fishermen.  Needlefishes have dark oily flesh that is delicious broiled but the blue bones are revolting to some.  Several species occur in Hawaii but may be difficult to separate without careful examination.

 

HAWAII

Platybelone argalus

KEELTAIL NEEDLEFISH

 

Tylosurus crocodilus

CROCODILE NEEDLEFISH

 

Tylosurus acus

KEELJAW NEEDLEFISH

 


TROPICAL WESTERN ATLANTIC

Strongylura notata

 REDFIN NEEDLEFISH

 



Family Hemirhamphidae

Halfbeaks

Halfbeaks are elongate silvery fish with unequal jaws, the lower being very long while the upper is very short, a design well-suited to capture surface-dwelling plankton.  They are an important prey item for seabirds and apex predators.

HAWAII

Hemirhamphus depauperatus

POLYNESIAN HALFBEAK