Tetrapturus angustirostris   Tanaka,  1915 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: FAO

Size: Max length 230 cm TL (male/unsexed); common length 190 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Max. weight reported: 52.0 kg

Color: Body dark greenish or brilliant blue dorsally, fading through silvery to white or silvery on ventral side; no spots or bars on the body. Fins dark.

Snout (spear) very short, scarcely longer than lower jaw in adults; in young the snout is much longer than lower jaw. Two dorsal fins; first fin long and rather high at anterior part, the greatest height of fin more than greatest body depth, and the fin maintains this height (or nearly so) in its posterior portion, with 46 to 50 rays; second dorsal fin with 6 rays. Two anal fins; first fin with 12 to 15 rays, and second fin with 6 or 7 rays and placed anteriorly to the second dorsal fin. Pectoral fin short and narrow, markedly shorter than pelvic fin. Vent far anterior to origin of first anal fin. Lateral line single and prominent.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, brood hiders. Spawning is believed to occur mainly during the winter months, especially in warm offshore currents with surface temperature of about 25°C.

Synonym (s)
Tetrapturus angustirostris Tanaka, 1914
Pseudohistiophorus angustirostris (Tanaka, 1915)
(Senior synonym)
Pseudohistiophorus illingworthi (Jordan & Evermann, 1926)
(Junior synonym)
Tetrapturus angustirostris Tanaka, 1915
(Senior synonym)
Tetrapturus illingworthi Jordan & Evermann, 1926
(Junior synonym)
Tetrapturus kraussi Jordan & Evermann, 1926
(Junior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Shortbill Spearfish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, gamefish. Marketed frozen and prepared as fish cakes and sashimi in Japan. Also prepared as sausages.)

Habitat:  Pelagic
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans



Literature Source(s)
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 2 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents

Page last updated on:2010-04-20

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