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Species: Tetrapturus georgii, Roundscale Spearfish

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not v compressed
sword not short
nape low
D lobe = / > body depth, rest of fin decreases in height
D & A lobes: round/square
pectoral pointed
pelvic = pectoral
LL: 1 obvious straight line
body +/- blue bars; no spots on D
anus before A by ~1/2 A height
flank scales: soft, round base, 2-3 points

Tetrapturus georgii Lowe, 1841

Roundscale Spearfish

Body elongate, not very compressed; bill rounded in cross section, moderately long (length usually at least equal to head); adults with small teeth; nape not very high; 1st dorsal long based, 43-48, height of front lobe equal to or slightly > body depth, rest of fin behind the lobe decreases in height gradually to rear, close to 2nd dorsal, 6-7; first anal fin rays 14-16; second anal fin rays 5-7; dorsal and anal fin lobes with blunt to rounded ends; pectoral fin long (>18% of body length) wide, pointed, moveable, can be pressed against body; pelvic fins slender, filamentous, ~same length as pectoral; 2 keels on side of tail base; tail fin large, strongly forked; anus well before origin of anal fin (at distance ~1/2 height of anal fin lobe); lateral line single, an obvious straight line; body covered with densely imbedded, small, scales; scales on sides of body are only slightly overlapping, soft, rounded anteriorly and 2-3 pointed at the rear, scales on upper and lower parts of body stiff, elongate and overlapping.

Dark blue above, coppery on the sides and silver below; dorsal fin dark blue, without small black spots; may display irridescent bars on body.

Size: to about 200 cm; 23.5 kg.

Habitat: oceanic, pelagic, chiefly offshore.

Depth: 0-200 m?

Tropical and temperate Atlantic and Mediterranean; from Nova Scotia to the NE Caribbean; the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Note: As this species is easily confused with the White Marlin, Kajikia albida, its distribution is not clear.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 200
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 200