Keeltail Needlefish – Profile | Description | Facts | Traits

Keeltail needlefish
(Last Updated On: April 14, 2021)

The keeltail needlefish, scientific name Platybelone argalus, typically known as the keeled needlefish, is a tropical fish of the family Belonidae. It was described by the French naturalist Charles Alexandre Lesueur in 1821.

Keeltail Needlefish profile

The Keeltail Needlefish, Platybelone argalus, is a member of the Needlefish or Belonidae Fam

ily and identified in Mexico as agujón de quilla. Globally, there are 7 species within the genus Platybelone, of which 1 is present in Mexican waters, this species in each the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

The Keeltail Needlefish are one of many extra unique and distinctive fishes of Mexico. They have a particularly elongated cylindrical physique that’s greenish-blue on the higher again and abruptly transitions to silvery nicely above the mid-body.

They’ve very lengthy beaks (25% to 27% of the ordinary size) and their decrease jaw is considerably longer than their higher jaw.

They’ve small enamel. Their caudal base is flattened with a big lateral keel, after which they’re named, that’s a minimum of thrice wider than it’s deep; their caudal fin is barely forked with the decrease lobe being barely bigger than the higher lobe; and, their pectoral and pelvic fins are quick.


Keeltail needlefish, like all needlefish, carefully resemble North American freshwater gars (household Lepisosteidae). It’s most acknowledged by the big, flat keel-like buildings working on both sides of the tail.

They’ve 12 to 15 rays on their dorsal fins and 17 to 20 rays on their anal fins. Keeltail needlefish have gill-rakers, their caudal peduncles have lateral keels, with a lateral line working ventral to it, and develop as much as 50 cm lengthy The keeltail needlefish’s high jaw can also be smaller than the decrease one.

Keeltail needlefish Distribution and habitat

Keeltail needlefish are discovered within the western Atlantic Ocean between North Carolina and Brazil, together with the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean Sea.

Within the Indian Ocean, they’re identified off of East Africa, with their very persevering with into the Pacific, reaching the Hawaiian Islands and persevering with north to the Ogasawara Islands.

Keeltail needlefish have additionally been discovered across the Arabian Peninsula, within the Crimson Sea and Persian Gulf.

They often happen offshore and are ample round islands.[8] A number of the most acknowledged subspecies are P. a. platura, most typical within the Crimson Sea and the Persian Gulf; P. a. platyura, identified from the remainder of the Indo-Pacific; and P. a. argalus from the Atlantic.

Keeltail needlefish

Keeltail needlefish Biology

Happens offshore; notably ample around islands; colleges in sheltered elements of the reef. Feeds primarily on small fishes. Oviparous. Eggs could also be discovered hooked up to things within the water by tendrils on the egg’s floor

The Keeltail Needlefish is an oceanic pelagic fish discovered within the first 5 m (15 toes) of the water column.

They attain the most size of 50 cm (20 inches). The Keeltail Needlefish is a really uncommon species and little or no is thought about their conduct.

The Keeltail Needlefish is a resident of Mexican waters of each of the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. They’re present in all waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Within the Pacific, they have got a restricted distribution being discovered from San Quintin, Baja California, southward alongside the northwest, central and southwest coasts of Baja, within the southern half of the Sea of Cortez, and alongside the coast of the mainland from Acapulco, Guerrero, southward to Guatemala.

Because of the distinctive form of their tail base and their elongated slender physique, the Keeltail Needlefish can’t be confused with every other Needlefish.

From a conservation perspective, the Keeltail Needlefish is at present thought of to be of Least Concern with secure, broadly distributed populations.

Usually, they’re too small in stature to be of curiosity to most nonetheless they’re utilized as a meal fish by some cultures.

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