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| Common names: needlefish (English), agujón (Espanol), marao (Espanol) |
Strongylura exilis (Girard, 1854)
California needlefish, Pike needlefish
Body elongate, rounded, relatively robust; beak relatively short; no gill rakers; tail slightly concave; no keel on round tail base; front lobe of anal larger than on dorsal; low lobes at rear of dorsal and anal fins; 11-12 pectoral rays, 13-17 dorsal rays; 16-19 anal rays; 274-330 scales in front of dorsal fin; 67-74 vertebrae; only left ovary present.
Back blue green; belly silver; dark blue stripe along mid-flank; dark pigment at junction of cheek and operculum extends down only to level of center of eye; bone in front of eye not pigmented; fins and eye yellowish.
Size: 91 cm.
Habitat: coastal, lagoons with mangroves, enters freshwater.
Depth: surface 0-10 m.
California to the Gulf of California and to Chile, the Revillagigedos, Cocos and the Galapagos.