Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Strongylura scapularis, Shoulderspot needlefish, Yellowfin needlefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

slender, elongate
beak relatively long
scales before D 172-243
behind eye heavily pigmented
pectoral: 9-11

Strongylura scapularis Jordan & Gilbert, 1881

Shoulderspot needlefish, Yellowfin needlefish

Elongate and slender, rounded in cross section; upper and lower jaws greatly elongated, with sharp teeth; no gill rakers; dorsal rays 13-15; anal rays 15-17; pectoral rays 9-11 (usually 10); tail base without lateral keels and not strongly depressed; tail slightly concave; about 172-226 scales before dorsal fin.

Brownish or olive on back, silvery on sides; wide grey stripe along flank; black color at junction of cheek and operculum extends down to lower edge of eye; bone before eye intensely pigmented; scales and spines never green. Juvenile with lower half of head and body black.

Size: grows to at least 40 cm.

Habitat: coastal seas, entering estuaries and river mouths.

Depth: 0-10 m?

El Salvador to Peru.

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  • Freshwater
  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Water column only
  • Surface
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Panamic province endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10