About This Fish

Shortbill Spearfish


The shortbill spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris) is a commercial game fish which belongs to the family Istiophoridae under order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. The short bill spearfish is also known as the short nosed spearfish, Japanese spearfish or slender spearfish. The Shortbill Spearfish prefers temperature which ranges from 21-300 C and it is generally found in tropical and temperate regions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.



The shortbill spearfish’s body is very elongated and compressed with very short bill. Upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw. Body is covered with small triangular scales. Body is dark blue dorsally, blue blotched with brown laterally and silvery white ventrally. The caudal and pectoral fins are black with white tips while the anal fin is white. The lateral line is single and arches above the pectoral fin. There are no bars or vertical stripes on the side of the body. It has two dorsal fins, of which, the first dorsal fin is high in the front with a triangular peak that extends to a height greater than the body depth. The first dorsal fin contains 45-50 rays while second dorsal fin is short with 6-7 rays. Pectoral fin is narrow and short with 17-19 rays. First anal fin contains 12-15 rays while second with 6-8 rays. Pelvic fin is slender and filamentous which is about twice the length of the pectoral fin. It feeds on mackerel, mullet, small tuna, cephalopods and crustaceans. It attains sexual maturity at the age of 2 years. It grows up to 230 cm in length and 52 kg in weight. It can live up to 5 years.


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