You can sponsor this page

Ablennes hians (Valenciennes, 1846)

Flat needlefish
Add your observation in Fish Watcher
Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2050
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Ablennes hians   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
Upload your photos and videos
Pictures | Google image
Image of Ablennes hians (Flat needlefish)
Ablennes hians
Male picture by Freitas, R.

Philippines country information

Common names: Balila, Balilahon, Balo
Occurrence: native
Salinity: brackish
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: commercial | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: no uses
Comments: Chiefly utilized as a food fish (Ref. 2858).
National Checklist:
Country Information:
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Herre, A.W.C.T., 1953
National Database:

Common names from other countries

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > 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: Lm ?  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. 130435)

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

CITES (Ref. 128078)

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
Common names
Egg development
Aquaculture profile
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

Download XML

Internet sources

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 22.6 - 29.2, mean 27.9 (based on 4228 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00085 (0.00046 - 0.00157), b=3.12 (2.96 - 3.28), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.66 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Assuming tmax>3; K=0.6).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100).
Climate Vulnerability (Ref. 125649):  High to very high vulnerability (74 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.