Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Tylosurus crocodilus, Houndfish, Hound Needlefish, Houndfish Needlefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

beak short, straight
D & A high
juv teeth point forwards
pectoral & pelvic long

Tylosurus crocodilus (Péron & Lesueur in Lesueur, 1821)

Houndfish, Hound Needlefish, Houndfish Needlefish

Body relatively robust, rounded; beak relatively short, stout and straight, with many long, pointed teeth; front teeth point forwards in juveniles; dorsal rays 21-23 (usually 22-23); anal rays 18-22; front lobes of dorsal + anal fin relatively high (9.4-18.5% and 12.5-18.1%, respectively of body length); pectoral rays 14 or 15; pectoral + pelvic fins relatively long (12.0-15.2% and 9.4-13.7%, respectively of body length); tail fin slightly forked rear edge, lower lobe longer than upper lobe; a prominent raised keel on side of tail base; 240-290 scales before dorsal fin; left gonad smaller than right gonad.

Dark bluish green above, silvery on sides; keel on the base of the tail black.

Size: to 125 cm.

Habitat: inshore, pelagic surface.

Depth: 0-10 m?

Indo-central Pacific and Atlantic; North Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Atlantic + Indo-West Pacific Oceans
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 125
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10