The Atlantic needlefish, Strongylura marina
, is a small- to medium-sized, elongate, somewhat gar-like carnivorous fish with the upper and lower jaws elongated into a pointed beak armed with hundreds of small, sharp teeth. Body coloration is greenish to blue-green above and silvery below and the body is covered with small scales (Hoese and Moore 1977). Despite their superficial resemblance to gars, needlefish are more closely related to flying fish (Family Exocoetidae
), and the leaping and surface-skittering behavior of S. marina
when alarmed or pursuing prey is well-documented (Collette 1977, Helfman et al. 1997).Hoese and Moore (1977) give soft ray counts for S. marina
as: dorsal = 14-17, anal = 16=20, pectoral = 10-12 (typically 11).