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Platybelone argalus platyura  (Bennett, 1832)

Keeled needlefish
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Image of Platybelone argalus platyura (Keeled needlefish)
Platybelone argalus platyura
Picture by Randall, J.E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes (Needle fishes) > Belonidae (Needlefishes)
Etymology: Platybelone: Greek, platys = flat + Greek, belone = needle; any fish with sharp pointed snout; also Pierre Belon, 1517-64, French zoologist born in Le Mans. Professor at the College de France, author of " La nature et diversité des poissons", 1551 (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 2 m (Ref. 58302).   Tropical; 27°N - 46°S, 51°E - 109°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Hawaiian and Tuamoto islands, north to the Ogasawara Islands. The subspecies platura from the Red Sea to Persian Gulf, platyura in the rest of the Indo-Pacific, and argalus in the tropical Atlantic (Ref. 37816).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 45.0 cm NG male/unsexed; (Ref. 89467); common length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-15; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 15 - 20; Vertebrae: 62 - 75. Gill rakers present; dorsal fin rays few, 12-15; caudal peduncle greatly depressed with very large keel on each side (Ref. 9682). See also Ref. 1602.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits offshore surface waters but is particularly abundant around islands (Ref. 9682). Probably the most common needlefish of reef flats, lagoons and bays where it occurs in groups of a few to several dozen. Carnivorous, feeding mainly on small fishes; marketed fresh (Ref. 9682). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by tendrils on the egg's surface (Ref. 205).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Collette, Bruce B. | Collaborators

Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene, 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 506 p. (Ref. 2334)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest; gamefish: yes
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 26.3 - 29, mean 28 (based on 334 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = No PD50 data   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00102 (0.00046 - 0.00225), b=3.06 (2.88 - 3.24), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.73 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (38 of 100) .