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Ablennes hians (Valenciennes, 1846)
Barred Long-tom; Barred Needle Fish; Flat Needlefish; Tylosurus caeruleofasciatus Stead, 1908; Belone hians Valenciennes, 1846

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Belonidae   Ablennes

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Ablennes hians
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Ablennes hians

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Main identification features Dorsal rays 22-25; anal rays 25-27; pectoral rays 13-15; 470-525 scales in front of dorsal fin; gill rakers absent; head and body strongly compressed laterally; tail very concave, base without keel.

Dark bluish above, silvery white below with several black bars or vertically elongated blotches on sides.

Size: to at least 120 cm.

Habitat: inshore to oceanic pelagic.

Depth: 0-12 m.

Circumtropical; Baja California to the Gulf of California to Peru, the Revillagigedos, Galapagos and Malpelo.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California); Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo); South Temperate (Peruvian Province ).
Depth Range Max: 12 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: bony fishes.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=32; Southern limit=-8; Western limit=-116; Eastern limit=-78; Latitudinal range=40; Longitudinal range=38.
Egg Type: Benthic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Pelagic.
Global Endemism: Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans); East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West); Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America); East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West); All Pacific (West + Central + East); TEP non-endemic; "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Water column; Estuary.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Offshore; In & Offshore.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 120 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Eastern Pacific non-endemic; Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Brackish.
Water Column Position: Surface; Water column only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Allen , G.R. and Robertson, D.R., 1994., Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific., Crawford House Press Pty Ltd:1-332.
  • Béarez, P., 1996., Lista de los Peces Marinos del Ecuador Continental., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 44:731-741.
  • Castro-Aguirre, J.L. and Balart, E.F., 2002., La ictiofauna de las islas Revillagigedos y sus relaciones zoogeograficas, con comentarios acerca de su origen y evolucion. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:153-170.
  • Cuvier , G. and Valenciennes, A., 1846., Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome dix-huitième. Suite du livre dix-huitième. Cyprinoïdes. Livre dix-neuvième. Des Ésoces ou Lucioïdes., Histoire Naturelle Des Poissons, 18:1-505.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Fowler, H.W., 1944., Results of the Fifth George Vanderbilt Expedition (1941) (Bahamas, Caribbean sea, Panama, Galapagos Archipelago and Mexican Pacific Islands). The Fishes., Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadel., Monographs, 6:57-529.
  • Franke , R. and Acero P., A., 1996., Peces óseos comerciales del Parque Gorgona, Pacífico colombiano (Osteichthyes: Muraenesocidae, Hemiramphidae, Belonidae, Scorpaenidae, Triglidae, Malacanthidae, Gerridae, Sparidae, Kyphosidae, Sphyraenidae e Istiophoridae)., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 44:763-770.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Gutiérrez-Sánchez, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., 2000., The distribution and affinities of the shore fishes of the Baja California Sur lagoons. In Aquatic Ecosystems of Mexico: Status and Scope. Eds. M. Manuwar, S.G. Lawrence, I.F. Manuwar & D.F. Malley. Ecovision World Monograph Series., Backhuys Publishers:383-398.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Lovejoy, N. R., 2000., Reinterpreting recapitulation: systematics of needlefishes and their allies (Teleostei: Beloniformes)., Evolution, 54:1349-1362.
  • Meek , S.E. and Hildebrand, S.F., 1923., The marine fishes of Panama. Part I., Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. Publ., XV:1-330.
  • Mees, G. F., 1962., A preliminary revision of the Belonidae., Zoologische Verhandelingen (Leiden), 54:1-96.
  • Ricker, K.E., 1959., Mexican shore and pelagic fishes collected from Acapulco to Cape San Lucas during the 1957 cruise of the "Marijean"., Univ. Brit. Columbia Inst. Fish., Mus. Contrib., 3:18pp.
  • Rosenblatt , R.H. , McCosker , J.E. and Rubinoff, I., 1972., Indo-west Pacific fishes from the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama., Contrib. Sci. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles Co., 234:18pp.
  • Van der Heiden , A. M. and Findley, L. T., 1988., Lista de los peces marinos del sur de Sinaloa, México., Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia de la Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico, 15:209-224.
  • Vega, A.J., Villareal, N., 2003., Peces asociados a arrecifes y manglares en el Parque Nacional Coiba., Tecnociencia, 5:65-76.


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Following modified from Australian Faunal Directory
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Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
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Kingdom Animalia  
 Phylum Chordata  
 Class Actinopterygii  
 Order Beloniformes  
 Family Belonidae  
 Genus Ablennes  
  Ablennes hians    (Valenciennes, 1846) 
Provider: Kwang-Tsao Shao 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Ablenes hians Ablennes pacificus Athlennes hians Belone hians Belone maculata Belone melanostigma Belone schismatorhynchus Blennes hians Mastaccembelus melanostigma Mastacembelus fasciatus Tylosurus caeruleofasciatus details
Citation: 臺灣魚類誌(沈等, 1993); The Live Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific, Vol.4(FAO,1999)
Character: Body elongate and greatly compressed laterally. Upper and lower jaws greatly elongate and studded with small sharp teeth. Gill rakers absent. Anterior parts of dorsal and anal fins with high falcate lobes; dorsal-fin rays numerous, 22 to 25; anal-fin rays numerous, 25 to 27; pectoral fins falcate;; caudal peduncle without lateral keels, caudal fin deeply forked, lower lobe much longer than upper. Body bluish green above, silvery white below; a broad dark blue stripe along sides and about 12 to 14 prominent dark vertical bars on body; tip of lower jaw red; juveniles and adults with elevated black lobe in posterior part of dorsal fin; scales and bones green.  
Habitat: Inhabits neritic and oceanic waters but more often found near islands. Found in estuaries, and coastal rivers. Sometimes forming large schools. Feeds mainly on small fishes. Usually caught with the help of artificial lights. In females, only left gonad is 
Distribution: Worldwide distribution in tropical and warm temperate waters. It is common in waters around Taiwan.  
Utility: Marketed fresh and salted; smoked or frozen. 
Name Code: 380859
  IUCN Red List:LC       Marine     
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Following modified from FishBase
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http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Ablennes&speciesname=hians ---> https://www.fishbase.se/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Ablennes&speciesname=hians
https://www.fishbase.se/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Ablennes&speciesname=hians ---> https://www.fishbase.se/summary/Ablennes-hians.html

Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Ablennes hians (Valenciennes , 1846)

Flat needlefish Add your observation in Fish Watcher
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Ablennes hians   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Pictures | Google image Image of Ablennes hians (Flat needlefish) Ablennes hians
Male picture by Freitas, R.

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

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes (Needle fishes) > Belonidae (Needlefishes)
Etymology: Ablennes: Greek, a = without + Greek, blennos = mucus (Ref. 45335 ) .  More on author: Valenciennes .

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

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243 ); depth range 0 - 3 m (Ref. 58047 ).   Subtropical; 43°N - 37°S, 180°W - 180°E

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

Worldwide distribution in tropical and warm temperate waters. Eastern Atlantic: Cape Verde and Dakar to Moçamedes, Angola (Ref. 5757 ); ranging further south to Namibia (Ref. 12484 ). Western Atlantic: Chesapeake Bay (USA), Bermuda, and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil (Ref. 7251 ). Throughout the Indian Ocean. Western Pacific: off coasts and islands from southern Japan through the East Indies to Australia (Ref. 9682 ). Reported from Tuvalu (Ref. 12690 ). Eastern Pacific: Mexico to Peru. Entire Caribbean, Antilles and South American coast to Rio de Janeiro (Ref. 26938 ).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ?   range ? - ? cm
Max length : 140 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637 ); common length : 70.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9279 ); max. published weight: 4.8 kg (Ref. 40637 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 23-26; Anal spines : 0; Anal soft rays : 24 - 28; Vertebrae : 86 - 93. Dark bluish dorsally, silvery white ventrally with black blotches on middle of body (Ref. 5317 ). Body greatly compressed laterally; anterior parts of dorsal and anal fins with high falcate lobes. Pectoral fins falcate; about 12-14 prominent dark vertical bars on body; juveniles and adults have an elevated black lobe in the posterior part of the dorsal fin.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits neritic and oceanic waters but more often found near islands (Ref. 5213 ). Found in estuaries (Ref. 26340 ), and coastal rivers (Ref. 33587 ). Sometimes forming large schools (Ref. 5217 ). Feeds mainly on small fishes (Ref. 9279 ). Oviparous (Ref. 205 ). Eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by filaments on the egg's surface (Ref. 205 ). Since the jaws are frequently broken, the maximum length is given as body length excluding head and caudal fin. Usually caught with the help of artificial lights (Ref. 9279 ). Marketed fresh and salted; smoked or frozen (Ref. 9987 ). Market limited due to the green-colored flesh (Ref. 5217 ). In females, only left gonad is developed, and in males the right gonad is small or absent (Ref. 26938 ).

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

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

Collette, B.B. , 1999. Belonidae. Needlefishes. p. 2151-2161. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9682 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744 )

  Least Concern (LC)  ; Date assessed: 20 August 2012

CITES (Ref. 118484 )

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes FAO(fisheries: production ; publication : search ) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
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Egg development
Larval dynamics
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Internet sources

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Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 22.6 - 29.2, mean 27.9 (based on 4228 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00083 (0.00046 - 0.00149), b=3.11 (2.95 - 3.27), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic Level (Ref. 69278 ):  4.5   ±0.80 se; Based on food items. Generation time: 1.8 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median LN(3)/K based on 1 growth studies. Resilience (Ref. 120179 ):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Assuming tmax>3; K=0.6). Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100) . Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   High .

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