Atlantic Needlefish – Profile | Description | Facts | Adaptations

atlantic needlefish

The Atlantic needlefish, scientific name Strongylura marina is a standard demersal needlefish species frequent in marinas and different areas with minimal currents. Its extraordinarily lengthy jaw and physique set this fish aside from different predators.

This article will give an overview of Atlantic needlefish habitat, scientific name, morphology, special adaptations, range, species range, Florida, size, facts, etc.

Atlantic needlefish profile

Atlantic needlefish are discovered from Maine to Brazil and have been identified to enterprise into recent water for brief intervals.

Geographic vary

S. marina is discovered alongside western Atlantic coastal waters from Maine to southern Brazil, together with areas alongside the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Atlantic needlefish are usually not restricted to ocean waters; they are often present in varied estuaries and are able to ascend effectively upstream into recent water. S. marina is present in shallow waters all through the Chesapeake Bay.

In Texas, S. marina is understood to inhabit these drainage models: Sabine Lake (together with minor coastal drainages west to Galveston Bay), Galveston Bay (together with minor coastal drainages west to the mouth of Brazos River), Brazos River, Colorado River, San Antonio Bay (together with minor coastal drainages west of the mouth of Colorado River to the mouth of Nueces River), and Nueces River.

S. marina has additionally been launched and now inhabits components of the Tennessee River drainage all through Alabama and Tennessee.

Atlantic needlefish, Strongylura marina


The Atlantic needlefish is primarily marine, however, it is a resident fish in the course of the summer season months within the Hudson River estuary, the place it has been caught as far north as Ulster Park and Germantown.

Needlefish usually inhabit submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and marshes of the decrease and center Hudson River, from simply north of the Hudson Highlands to only south of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

One specimen is understood from the New York portion of the Delaware River, however, it isn’t identified how repeatedly this species happens within the New York part of this river.


As juveniles, the weight-reduction plan of S. marina consists of 70% shrimp, mysids, and amphipods, and 30% fish, whereas adults are solely piscivorous.

The predators of S. marina embody bigger piscivorous fish such because the Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus).

Much less frequent predators embody the frequent bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and juvenile lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris).

Since they’re floor swimmers, Atlantic needlefish are additionally preyed upon by some birds. The opponents of S. marina embody similar-sized piscivorous fish species comparable to bonefish.

Though the utmost salinity S. marina can tolerate is 36.9 ppt, they’re able to adapt to a variety of salinities, repeatedly venturing into recent water.

Figuring out Traits

The Atlantic needlefish is expounded to the flying-fishes and halfbeaks (Smith 1985). In look, it’s an elongate and slender fish with skinny scales and a physique that tapers at each end.

The coloration varies from darkish inexperienced above, silver alongside the perimeters, and white under, with a darkish and slimline operating alongside both sides. The dorsal and anal fins are located far again on the body.

The tail is barely forked. The jaws are very elongate, about twice the size of the remainder of the pinnacle, and lined with sharp, pointed enamel.

Within the Hudson River, needlefish common 9 to 11 inches (23 – 28 cm) in the summertime, as much as 20 inches (51 cm) by late fall, with among the largest fish nearing 30 inches (76 cm) in size.

Life historical past

Spawning sometimes happens in the late spring and summer seasons. In Texas, close to ripe females have been reported in February.

Females lay eggs that have many lengthy, filamentous tendrils which connect to floating vegetation or different submerged objects and organisms.

S. marina reaches reproductive maturity two years after being hatched. Spawning exercise happens in shallow, inshore habitats with submerged algal lots.

S. marina will depend on submerged vegetation for breeding and shelter. Within the Gulf of Mexico, the eggs of S. marina connect to sargassum seaweed.


Like another marine fish within the Hudson, needlefish observe the salt entrance because it strikes up the Hudson in the course of the summer season months.

Spawning happens in Might and June and consists of the shallows of recent and brackish water marshes.

Needlefish depend upon the tidal marshes of the decrease reaches of the Hudson River for meals and shelter.

Needlefish are floor feeders and they’re sometimes noticed swimming slightly below the floor of the water within the decrease Hudson River in the course of the summer season months, with people showing as a single strand of drifting aquatic vegetation.

In contrast to much different fish, the lateral line is positioned ventrally, permitting needlefish to pursue their prey on the floor of the water.

They’re drawn to lights in the evening and, when frightened, they could leap out of the water or skitter throughout the floor.

atlantic needlefish


The Atlantic needlefish feeds each day and evening on varied small fish, together with silversides, killifish, and juvenile river herring.

Best Time to See

Spawning happens in Might and June with the larvae showing within the decrease Hudson after hatching.

Adults and, in newer years, post-larval, young-of-year, and juveniles, are current within the Hudson River estuary in the course of the summer season months, suggesting that some spawning takes place within the Hudson River


Lack of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) could also be a menace. The lack of SAV in a single Hudson River location that when supported nice numbers of needlefish in the course of the 1980s resulted in a subsequent shortage of needlefish at this location, however, might not have affected the general inhabitants.


S. marina just isn’t at present thought-about to be a threatened species. It isn’t of excessive business significance, however, a fishery exists for it and it’s generally taken as bycatch. Sport fishermen take it by angling and seining, after which use it as bait.

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