Tylosurus crocodilus (Péron & Lesueur, 1821)
Hound needlefish
Hound needlefish,  Kambabalo,  Kambawalu,  Baa,  Babayu,  Bala,  Balo,  Balo lison,  Balu,  Batalay,  Batali,  Bawo,  Baya,  Bayo,  Bigiw,  Bilan,  Bilugon dual,  Crocodile longtom,  Daal,  Diwal,  Dual,  Dugsa,  Duwal,  Ganggang,  Haba,  Hahay,  Kambabalo,  Kambalo,  Layalay,  Patlay,  Salasang lapad,  Soroy,  Tambaliwan,  Tambilawan,  Tambilawang urbong
Tylosurus crocodilus
photo by Baur, J.-C.

Family:  Belonidae (Needlefishes)
Max. size:  150 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 6,350.0 g
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 13 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and South Africa (Ref. 5317) and Persian Gulf (Ref. 68964) to French Polynesia (Ref. 6784), north to Japan (Ref. 559), south to New South Wales, Australia (Ref. 33390). Replaced by Tylosurus crocodilus fodiator in the eastern Pacific. Western Atlantic: New Jersey, USA to Brazil (Ref. 7251). Eastern Atlantic: Fernando Poo, Cameroon, Liberia, and Ascension Island (Ref. 5757); from Senegal and Guinea (Ref. 28587); and Cape Verde (Ref. 27000). Recorded from the Mediterranean Sea (Ref. 83387).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 21-24; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 19-22; Vertebrae: 75-80. This species with is distinguished by the following characters: body elongate, circular in cross-section; D 21-24 with anterior rays forming a relatively high lobe, 5.4-10.6 body length (excluding the head and caudal fin); dorsal fin origin about equal with or slightly in front to anal fin origin; A 19-22 with anterior rays forming a relatively high lobe, in 5.5-8.0 in BL; pectoral-fin rays 13 to 15 (usually 14 or 15); 270-340 predorsal scales; 75-80 vertebrae; jaws extremely long, forming a stout beak armed with very sharp teeth; no gill rakers absent; caudal fin deeply emarginate, the lower lobe much longer than the upper one and the caudal peduncle with a distinct, black lateral keel; body colour dark bluish green above, silvery below; juveniles (to 20 cm body length) with elevated black lobe in posterior part of dorsal fin which is lost with growth; scales and bones green (Ref. 9682, 90102).

Description: Relatively stout, cylindrical body and a shorter head as compared to other needle fishes. Jaw teeth point anteriorly in juveniles (to 40 cm BL) but are straight at all sizes in other species of Tylosurus (Ref. 9682). Anterior rays of dorsal and anal fins forming relatively high lobes that are comprised from 5.4-10.6 and from 5.5-8.0 times, respectively, in body length (Ref. 57228, 90102). Dorsal fin origin about equal with or slightly anterior to origin of anal fin (Ref. 90102). Lower lobe of caudal fin longer than upper (Ref. 57228). 240-290 (Ref. 57228) or 270-340 (Ref. 90102) predorsal scales. Both left and right gonads present, but right one longer than left (Ref. 57228). Coloration: back-bluish green, belly silvery; dark blue band along sides; scales and bones green (Ref. 57228). In young individuals (to 20 cm BL), dorsal fin has elevated black posterior lobe which disappears in adults (Ref. 9682, 57228).

Biology:  A pelagic species (Ref. 26340) found over lagoon and seaward reefs. Solitary or in small groups. Feeds on fishes (Ref. 11889). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by tendrils on the egg's surface (Ref. 205). Feared by fishers because they can cause puncture wounds with their sharp snouts when jumping out of the water, e.g. when alarmed or attracted to lights at night. Although sold fresh and considered a good food fish, its market is limited due to the green-colored flesh (Ref. 5217). Widespread in tropical Indo-Pacific, divisible in two subspecies (Ref 90102). Caught by casting or trolling surface or near-surface lures; also with purse seines and drift nets (Ref. 9682).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 21 August 2012 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:  Known in Calamianes Islands, northern Palawan (Ref. 48613), Danjugan Island, Negros Occidental (Ref. 58652) and Lanuza Bay (Ref. 104756). Utilized as a food fish (Ref. 6565). Also Ref. 12744, 121724.

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