Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Strongylura fluviatilis, Freshwater needlefish

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cheek long (2x operculum)
blue-black stripe along side
black blotch above pectoral base
180-200 scales before D

Strongylura fluviatilis (Regan, 1903)

Freshwater needlefish

Body rounded; head length ~ 37% of TL; long cheek (~ 2x length of operculum); eye diameter ~ 32% of length of head behind eye, equal to distance between eyes; snout = 2/3 of head length; no gill rakers; dorsal 15-16 rays, front rays longer, origin over 5th-7th anal ray; anal 16-18 rays, longest rays a little longer than those of dorsal & equal to pectoral; pectoral 21-25% of head length; pelvic origin midway between rear of eye and base of tail fin; tail slightly concave; no keel on tail base; operculum completely scaled, 180-200 scales before dorsal fin.

A bluey-black stripe from eye back along mid-flank, broader at rear; black blotch above base of pectoral.

Size: 45 cm.

Habitat: a freshwater species that also occurs in mangrove areas.

Depth: 0-5 m.

Known from both Pacific and Caribbean drainages; on the Pacific from the Gulf of San Miguel, Panama to Ecuador.

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  • Non Marine
  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Water column only
  • Surface
  • Freshwater
  • Water column
  • Mangrove
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West)
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
  • New world (East Pacific + West Atlantic)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 45
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5