Hemiramphus far   (Forsskal,  1775) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 14-50 cm.

Color: Bluish green above and silvery white below with 3-9 dark spots on the flanks. Beak dark, with a bright red fleshy tip.

Compressed, the breadth of the body going 1.4-1.8 in its height. Height 6.6-7.4, 7.7-8.6 in length with caudal. Head from tip of upper jaw to branchial opening 2.9-3.1 in trunk. Entire head 2.3-2.4, 2.7 in length with caudal. Length of lower jaw beyond extremity of upper jaw 4-4.3, about 5 in length with caudal. Eye 1.4-1.6 in postorbital part of head and somewhat less than interorbital space. The triangular part of the upper jaw, formed by the intermaxillaries, is much broader than long. Greatly prolonged, beak-like lower jaw, upper jaw short, triangular and without scales, preorbital ridge absent; total number of gill rakers on first gill arch 25-36, pectoral fins short, not reaching past nasal pit when folded forward; with 3-9 (usually 4-6) vertical bars on the sides. 36-41 predorsal scales. Lower lobe of caudal fin longer than upper lobe. Dorsal and anal fins located posteriorly.Teeth stout, in the upper jaw in 2 or 3 series, in the lower jaw in about 4 series, the bands of teeth do not taper conspicuously anteriorly or posteriorly. Origin of anal below about 5th dorsal ray. Origin of dorsal separated by 32-34 scales from occiput and by 6 scales from lateral line. Dorsal and anal concave, the anterior rays the longer. Length of base of dorsal about twice that of anal. Pectorals longer than head without snout. Ventrals half as long as pectorals, their origin twice nearer to base of caudal than to tip of upper jaw. Caudal forked. Forms schools. Adults feed mainly on sea grasses, to a lesser extent on green algae and diatoms.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Hemirhamphus far Day, 1877
Hemirhamphus far Talwar and Kacker, 1984
Hemiramphus far Ruppell, 1835
Hemiramphus commersonii Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1846
Hemiramphus commersonii Bleeker, 1852
Hemirhamphus far Bleeker, 1866
Hemirhamphus commersonii Gunther, 1866
Hemirhamphus far Bleeker, 1872
Hemiramphus far Klunzinger, 1871
Hemiramphus far Jordan and Evermann, 1902
Hemirhamphus far Gunther, 1909
Hemiramphus commersoni Snyder, 1912
Hemirhamphus far Mc Culloch, 1919
Esox far Forsskal, 1775
(Senior synonym)
Esox gladius Lacepede, 1803
(Junior synonym)
Esox marginatus far Forsskal, 1775
(Senior synonym)
Hemiramphus commersonii Cuvier, 1829
(Junior synonym)
Hemiramphus mocquardianus Thominot, 1886
(Junior synonym)
Hemirhamphus marginatus (non Forsskal, 1775)
(Misapplied name)
Hemirhamphus obesus Castelnau, 1861
(Junior synonym)
Hemiramphus commersoni Cuvier, 1829
Hemirhamphus commersonii Cuvier, 1829
Hemirhamphus far (Forsskal, 1775)

Common Name (s)
• Black Barred Halfbeak (English)
• Mural (Tamil)
• Sobara
• Spotted Halfbeak (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Marketed fresh and dried salted, meat tasty.)

Habitat:  Estuarine, Sandy, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Primary Consumer
Prey:  Adults feed mainly on sea grasses, to a lesser extent on green algae and diatoms.


• Orissa, Mahanadi Estuary (Lat: 20.32) (Long: 86.75) INDIA
• Gulf of Oman
• East Coast, Coromandel, Pulicat Lake INDIA (Record: 1997-1998)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Rameswaram INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Kilakarai INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Pondicherry, Karaikal (Lat: 10.26) (Long: 79.01) INDIA (Record: 01/2003-12/2003)
• Tamil Nadu, Pazhayar Coast INDIA (Record: 09/2008)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Gujarat, Jakhau-Babber Creek (Lat: 23.5) (Long: 68.6) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Gujarat, Medi-Sinthodi Creek (Lat: 23.45) (Long: 68.48) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Gujarat, Sangi-Kharo Creek (Lat: 23.28) (Long: 68.51) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 13.75) (Long: 94.25) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 6.75) (Long: 92.16) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds.) (1998) Fauna Of Mahanadi estuary, Orissa Estuarine ecosystem series no 3 ZSI, Kolkata 1-218 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Al-Abdessalaam, TZS (1995) Marine species of the Sultanate of Oman p 412 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
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1922) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Print times, Pataudi house, Daryaganj, New Delhi 4 410 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Raj, PJS, Tilak, JL and Kalaimani, G (2002) Experiments in restoration of benthic biodiversity in Pulicat Lake, south India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 44(1 & 2) 37-45 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 - http://tnenvis.nic.in
  • 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 - http://tnenvis.nic.in/PDF/coastal%20data.pdf
  • Satapathy, D and Panda, S (2009) Fish atlas of Chilika Chilika Development Authority, Bhubaneswar 74 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 - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents
  • Rajaram, R; Srinivasan, M; Khan, SA and Kannan, L (2004) Ichthyofaunal diversity of great Nicobar Island, Bay of Bengal Journal of Indian fisheries association 31 13-26 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Rajasegar, M and Sendhilkumar, R (2009) Finfish Resources of Karaikal,South East Coast of India World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences IDOSI Publications 1 (4) 330-332 Available at - http://www.idosi.org/wjfms/wjfms1%284%2909/13.pdf
  • Gopalakrishnan, A; Rajkumar, M; Jun, S and Trilles, JP (2010) Occurrence of double parasitism on black-barred halfbeak fish from the southeast coast of India Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology springer 28(4) 832-835 Available at - http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00343-010-9919-z
  • Rajaram, R and Nedumaran, T (2009) Ichthyofaunal diversity in great Nicobar biosphere reserve, Bay of Bengal Journal of Threatened Taxa Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society 1(3) 166-169 Available at - http://threatenedtaxa.org/ZooPrintJournal/2009/March/o198526iii09166-169.pdf
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Saravanakumar, A; Rajkumar, M; Serebiah, JS and Thivakaran, GA (2009) Fishery resources in arid zone mangroves in gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat, northwest coast of India Journal of Ocean University of China Springer 8(3) 233-240 Available at - http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11802-009-0233-3
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Roy, SD; Rajan, PT and Soundararajan, S (2006) Marine food fishes of Andaman and Nicobar islands Fishing Chimes 25(10) 108-110 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-24

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