Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System
Updated: 06/12/2008  

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Species Information          
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Perciformes  -  Istiophoridae  -  Makaira  -  Makaira nigricans

Makaira nigricans

All Families(148) All Genera(504) All Species(1287)
moderately compressed

nape high
D height < body depth
15 blue-spot bars

  pectoral: not rigid, can fold against side


Makaira nigricans Lacepede, 1802

Blue marlin

Body only slightly compressed laterally; bill rounded in cross section;  adults with small teeth; nape strongly elevated; first dorsal fin rays 40-45, front rays elevated into triangular peak, remainder of fin very low; height of anterior lobe < than greatest body depth; second dorsal fin rays 6-7; pectorals long and narrow,  moveable and can be pressed against body, 20-23 rays; pelvic fins filamentous, distinctly shorter than pectoral fins; tail base with two keels; anus close to origin of anal fin; lateral line a single line, often obscured in adults; body covered with small, triangular scales. 

Blue black dorsally and silvery white ventrally with about 15 cobalt-colored vertical rows of round spots or narrow bars; first dorsal fin blackish or dark blue; other fins blackish brown, sometimes tinged with dark blue.

Size: attains 500 cm; all-tackle world record 498 Kg.

Habitat: pelagic, oceanic.

Depth: 0-200 m.

Circumtropical in tropical and temperate seas; California to the SW and central eastern Gulf of California to Peru and the oceanic islands.

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