Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Tylosurus acus acus, Agujon needlefish, Atlantic agujon, Atlantic Agujón Needlefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

beak long, slender, curved
D & A low
juv & adult teeth vertical
pectoral & pelvic short

Tylosurus acus acus (Lacepéde, 1803)

Agujon needlefish, Atlantic agujon

Elongate, relatively slender, rounded body; both jaws form a very prolonged, beak that is relatively long, slender and upcurved, with many long, pointed teeth (vertical in both juveniles and adults); dorsal fin with long base, 22-26 rays, raised front lobe is relatively low (height 7.5-9.5% of body length), in juveniles the rear section of this fin is also raised; anal fin low (height 8.5-10.3% of body length), 19-22 rays; pectorals and pelvics relatively short (8.1-12.5% and 7.1-10.0% of body length, respectively), pelvics shorter than pectorals; tail base with a keel; tail fin deeply forked, lower lobe much longer; 320-390 scales before dorsal fin; no right gonad.

Dark blue upper body, silvery white below; a blue stripe along the flank; rear elevated lobe of dorsal fin black in juveniles.

Size: to about 140 cm.

Habitat: tends to live further offshore than T. crocodilus, although it is also found in coastal waters.

Depth: 0-10 m.

The west Atlantic subspecies of a circumtropical species with four subspecies; Massachusetts to SE Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
  • In & Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Water column only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species..
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 140
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10