Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Istiophoridae
Etymology: Tetrapturus: Greek, tetra = four + Greek, pteron, fin, wing (Ref. 45335). More on author: Tanaka.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 1830 m (Ref. 86942), usually 0 - 350 m (Ref. 89423). Subtropical; 43°N - 56°S, 20°E - 68°W
Indian and Pacific: tropical and temperate waters. Although some stray individuals are found in the Atlantic Ocean, this species is believed to have its spawning grounds and principal populations only in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 230 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9308); common length : 190 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9308); max. published weight: 52.0 kg (Ref. 43)
soft rays: 18 - 23. Dark blue above, blue splattered with brown on the sides, silvery white below; 1st dorsal fin plain dark blue, other fins brown or dark brown; anal fin bases with tinges of silvery white.
Oceanic and epipelagic, found above the thermocline (Ref. 9308). Feeds on fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans. Also caught as a by-catch of long lines with hooks intended for tuna. Marketed frozen and prepared as fish cakes and sashimi in Japan (Ref. 9308). Also prepared as sausages.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Spawning is believed to occur mainly during the winter months, especially in warm offshore currents with surface temperature of about 25°C.
Nakamura, I., 1985. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 5. Billfishes of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of marlins, sailfishes, spearfishes and swordfishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(5):65p. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 43)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 13.9 - 28.8, mean 26.2 (based on 5116 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5630 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00457 (0.00229 - 0.00912), b=3.21 (3.03 - 3.39), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.76 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Assuming tm=2-4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (42 of 100) .