Swordfish - Xiphias gladius

DESCRIPTION
Color of back variable--black, grayish blue, brown, metallic purple, or bronze, sides dusky, underbelly dirty white, long, flat, sword-like upper jaw, lacks scales, teeth, and pelvic fins, single keel on each side of body in front of tail, first dorsal fin high, rigid and short, large eyes.

size : Once averaged 200 pounds, but over-harvest has reduced size of commercially caught swordfish to average of 48 inches.

RANGE
Offshore species, pelagic, in temperate and tropic waters worldwide, known to frequent depths 400 to 500 fathoms, but also has been seen basking at the surface.

NATURAL HISTORY
Large swordfish are usually females, males seldom exceeding 200 pounds; except when spawning females believed to prefer water cooler than that favored by males; feeds on squid, octopus, and pelagic fishes of all kinds.

Other Common Names : Broadbill