Black Marlin - Makaira indica

DESCRIPTION
Body robust, slightly compressed. Head with upper jaw and snout prolonged in a stout bill, round in cross-section. Nape elevated. Branchiostegal membranes joined but free from isthmus. No gillrakers. Small, file-like teeth in jaws and palatines. First dorsal fin height less than body depth, pointed anteriorly and decreasing gradually, ending close to the second dorsal fin. Two anal fins, both pointed anteriorly; origin of second slightly behind that of second dorsal fin origin. Pectoral fin rigid (cannot be folded flat against body side). Pelvic fin very narrow, depressible into ventral grooves. Two keels on each side of caudal peduncle and located at the base of the caudal fin lobes.

color : head and body dark blue dorsally and silvery-white ventrally. First dorsal fin dark blue or blackish; other fin dark brown.

size : common 150-310 cm (max. 460 cm - ca. 700 kg).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS
  • Makaira nigricans: non-rigid pectoral fin (can be folded back against side of body), reticulated lateral line.
  • Istiophorus albicans: dorsal fins higher than body depth and sail-like; pelvic fin much longer than pectoral fin.
  • Tetrapturus spp.: nape almost straight (highly elevated in Makaira); tip of dorsal fin rounded.
  • Xiphias gladius: no pelvic fins.

    BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
    Feeding on a variety of fish, including small tuna, squids and crustaceans.

    habitat : epipelagic oceanic.

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