Strongylura leiura (Bleeker, 1850)
Banded needlefish
Balitut,  Balo,  Banded needlefish,  Balo,  Batali,  Bayo,  Bigiw,  Bilan,  Dual,  Haba,  Kambabalo,  Kambawalu,  Salasang bilog,  Siriw,  Tambaliwan,  Tambilawang sallang
Strongylura leiura
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Belonidae (Needlefishes)
Max. size:  100 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 3 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: Somalia (Ref. 30573) and Tanzania to Durban, South Africa (Ref. 3130) east to Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and southeast Asia to New Guinea, Australia, and the Philippines. Reported from southern China (Ref. 5317). The Australian population is regarded as subspecies Strongylura leiura ferox by Parin (1967) (Ref. 1602).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-21; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 23-25. Laterally compressed; origin of dorsal fin over 7th-10th ray of anal fin; dorsal fin rays 17-21; anal fin rays 23-25; caudal peduncle without lateral keels; caudal fin emarginate; predorsal scales moderately small, 130-180 (Ref. 9682). Caudal fin sub truncate; a black bar on cheek between opercle and preopercle; greenish dorsally, grading to silvery white ventrally.
Biology:  Inhabit coastal waters and estuaries (Ref. 5213). Larvae and early juveniles are found in mangroves (Ref. 43081). Feed mainly on small fishes (Ref. 3130) and crustaceans (Ref. 43081). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by tendrils on the egg's surface (Ref. 205). Marketed fresh (Ref. 9682).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Known in Calamianes Islands, northern Palawan (Ref. 48613) and from Taal Anchorage, Luzon (type locality of Rhaphiobelone dammermani) (Ref. 26282). Also Ref. 5317.

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