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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Spot-tail Needlefish
   
   

Fig 1
  
Fig 2
 

Fig 3
  

Fig 4
  


 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order : Beloniformes
Family : BELONIDAE
Species : Strongylura strongylura
Maximum Length : 40 cm

The Spot-tail Needlefish is a surface dwelling species which typically occurs in shallow, coastal habitats, particularly calmer areas of mangrove systems. Some populations may also venture upstream from the mangrove habitat, into areas of freshwater.

According to Fishbase, the diet of this fast-swimming fish includes many members of the Clupeidae family, such as herrings and sardines.

Typically the Spot-tail Needlefish reaches lengths of up to 22 cm, with the biggest examples reaching up to 40 cm. Its body is elongated and rounded in cross-section, and its fins are small. The tail fin is typically pale yellow with a distinctive black spot near the base, and is gently rounded in shape.

Its jaws are greenish yellow, the upper surface of its elongated head is greenish or pinkish, and the dorsal surface of its body is greenish or greenish-yellow.

This species occurs in northern parts of the Indian Ocean, much of Southeast Asia, and the western Pacific Ocean.


Fig 1 : Example from mangrove habitat at Sungei Buloh, Singapore.

Fig 2 : Mangrove forest at Sungei Buloh, Singapore: the shallow, calmer inlets provide suitable habitat and feeding grounds for the Spot-tail Needlefish.

Figs 3 and 4 : Close-ups of the elongated head, and the black spot on the tail


References :

Fishbase