Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Hyporhamphus unifasciatus, Atlantic silverstripe halfbeak, Common halfbeak

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout < 70%
body depth > 15% SL
D 15; A 16; Pect 11
gill rakers 31,24
scales cover D & A

Hyporhamphus unifasciatus (Ranzani, 1841)

Common halfbeak, Atlantic silverstripe halfbeak

Elongate and slender, body depth at both pectoral & pelvic  origins average >15% SL; no teeth; lower jaw extended into a long beak; upper jaw short, triangular, covered with scales, distance from eye to tip of top jaw usually <70% of eye diameter; nostrils in a pit before eye; well developed ridge just before eye; gill rakers 31 (27-35) on 1st arch, 24 (19-28) on 2nd arch; dorsal rays 15 (13-16); anal rays 16 (14-18), fin origin under dorsal fin origin; pectoral rays 11 (9-12), fin relatively short, not reaching nostril when folded forward; tail fin concave; dorsal and anal fins covered with scales.

Greenish on back, silvery white below; 3 distinct black lines from along head to dorsal fin; a silver stripe along side from opercle opening to end of the tail base; tip of beak red; tail clear, with dark border.

Size: reaches 27 cm.

Habitat: surface inshore and estuarine waters.

Depth: 0-30 m.

Chesapeak Bay to southern Brazil, except Bermuda.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Water column only
  • Estuary
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Omnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Insects
  • Phytoplankton
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • Also in Brazil
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 27
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 30