Makaira indica   (Cuvier,  1832) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Mya Than Tun

Size: Max. length 465 cm FL (male/unsexed)

Max. weight reported: 750.0 kg

Color: Color is dark blue above, silvery white below; sometimes with light blue vertical stripes. First dorsal fin blackish to dark blue, other fins dark brown with tinges of dark blue in some specimens

Head including bill less than 4, depth of body about 6, both in total length. Snout 1.5 in head. Upper jaw about 2.2 times the length of lower jaw. Anterior part of first dorsal well developed but gradually becoming lower posteriorly. Pectoral fin shorter than depth of body. Ventral fin about half length of pectoral. Pectoral fin rigid forming a right angle with the side of body and cannot be folded flat against the side without breaking the joint. Anterior lobe of first dorsal low, much less than depth of body. Anal fin inserted midway between origin of upper caudal lobe and hind margin of head or slightly more anterior.
Number of spines in the first dorsal fin: III, 33-37; number of spines and rays in the second dorsal fin: 7; number of spines and rays in the first anal fin: II, 10-11; number of spines and rays in the second anal fin: 7; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 2.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Believed to prefer water temperatures around 27° to 28°C during spawning. Egg counts of ripe roe totaled about 40 million per female.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Histiophorus brevirostris (Playfair & Gunther, 1866)
Tetrapturus indicus Cuvier, 1831
Makaira indica Deraniyagala, 1952
Histiophorus brevirostris Playfair, 1867
(Junior synonym)
Istiomax indicus (Cuvier, 1832)
(Senior synonym)
Istiompax australis Whitley, 1931
(Junior synonym)
Istiompax brevirostris (Playfair, 1867)
(Junior synonym)
Istiompax dombraini Whitley, 1954
(Junior synonym)
Istiompax indicus (Cuvier, 1832)
(Senior synonym)
Istiompax marlina (Jordan & Hill, 1926)
(Junior synonym)
Makaira ampla marlina Jordan & Hill, 1926
(Junior synonym)
Makaira ampla tahitiensis Nichols & LaMonte, 1935
(Junior synonym)
Makaira australis (MacLeay, 1854)
(Junior synonym)
Makaira brevirostris Playfair, 1867
(Junior synonym)
Makaira indica (Cuvier, 1832)
(Senior synonym)
Makaira marlina Jordan & Hill, 1926
(Junior synonym)
Makaira marlina marlina Jordan & Hill, 1926
(Junior synonym)
Makaira marlina tahitiensis Nichols & LaMonte, 1935
(Junior synonym)
Makaira mazara tahitiensis Nichols & LaMonte, 1935
(Junior synonym)
Makaira nigricans marlina Jordan & Hill, 1926
(Junior synonym)
Makaira nigricans tahitiensis Nichols & LaMonte, 1935
(Junior synonym)
Makaira xantholineata Deraniyagala, 1956
(Junior synonym)
Marlina marlina (Jordan & Hill, 1926)
(Junior synonym)
Tetrapturus australis Macleay, 1854
(Junior synonym)
Tetrapturus brevirostris (Playfair, 1867)
(Junior synonym)
Tetrapturus indicus Cuvier, 1832
(Senior synonym)
Maikaira indica (Cuvier, 1832)
Makaira indicus (Cuvier, 1832)
Makaira malina Jordan & Hill, 1926
Makaira marhina Jordan & Hill, 1926
Malina malina (Jordan & Hill, 1926)

Common Name (s)
• Indian Spearfish (English)
• Black Marlin (English)
• Marlin (English)
• Short Nosed Sword Fish (English)
• Tonki (Konkani)
• Tadmasa (Marathi)
• Kopparaikulla (Tamil)
• Kopparan (Tamil)
• Kopparai kuzha
• Indian Spear Fish (English)
• bill Fish (English)
• Ghodo
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, gamefish. Marketed fresh or frozen, liver oil are richest of vitamin A, prepared as sashimi in Japan. Flesh excellent eating.)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Reef Associated, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Fishes, squids, cuttlefishes, octopods, large decapod crustaceans and mostly on small tunas
Predator:  Jacks, dolphinfish, billfishes, mackerels, tunas, Orcinus orca


• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin Coast (Lat: 8.78) (Long: 78.13) INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Maharashtra, Off Mumbai INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - index/
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Cyr, EC; Dean, JM; Jehangeer, I and Nallee, M (1990) Age, growth, and reproduction of the blue marlin and black marlin from the Indian Ocean Marine Recreational Fisheries 13(2) 309-316 Available at - ZOOR12800022838
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Tun, MT (2001) Marine fishes of Myanmar (pelagic and demersal) U Than Tun, Director-General, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Myanmar 276 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Rohit, P; Rao, GS and Rammohan, K (2008) Yellowfin tuna fishery by traditional fishermen at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 50(1) 62-68 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 -
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
  • Dholakia, AD (2004) Marine resources Fisheries and aquatic resources of India Daya publishing house 271-303 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-12-07

Back to Search