What is Needlefish?

By. Nevanda - 14 Mar 2023


kelolalaut.com - Needlefish is a name for fish that belong to Belonidae family. This fish has slender body, which ranging from 3 to 95 cm long. They have just one dorsal fin that located on the far back of the body, almost opposite to their anal fin. The distinctive feature from this fish is long, narrow beak, which filled with so many sharp teeth. In most of the species, the upper jaw will reach full length when they become adults. Therefore, the juvenile has a half-beak appearance, with an elongated lower jaw, but much smaller upper one. At the early stage of their life cycle, this fish will feed on plankton and will switch to fish once they are adult and their beak is fully develops. Needlefish reproduce through mating and laying eggs. The male usually will ride the female on the wave as they mate.


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Needlefish are commonly found in subtropics waters, but some of them inhabit temperate waters, as well, particularly during the winter. Belone belone, a common North Atlantic species, often seen swim in schools alongside tuna. Recently, some small specimens also have been seen in the Mediterranean Sea. Needlefish main diet is smaller fish, in addition they also eat krill, swimming crustacean, small cephalopods and insects. 


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Needlefish like any of ray-finned beloniforms are capable of making short jump out of the water. The speed of this jump can reach 60 km/h. Since needlefish swim near surface, they often leap over the decks of shallow boat. This jumping activity is caused by the excitement of the fish to see artificial light at night of the fishermen or boat that passing by. Night fishermen and divers in areas across the Pacific Ocean have been accidentally collide with this school of fish because their excitement to see light source. Their sharp beak is capable of inflicting deep puncture wounds, for many traditional Pacific Islander communities, the needlefish even can cause greater risk of injury than sharks.


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