Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes
(Needle fishes) > Exocoetidae
Etymology: Hirundichthys: latin, hirundo = swift; 1300 + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; pelagic-oceanic; depth range 0 - ? m. Subtropical
Atlantic Ocean. NW Atlantic (Massachussetts south along the US) Bermuda, the Bahamas ad throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. East of 30° W are extremely rare and could possibly represent strays of H. rondeletti. Confirmed to occur in Portugal, the Azores and Canary Islands.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 24.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 109257)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 10 - 13;
Vertebrae: 44 - 47. This species is distinguished by the following characters: elongated body nearly rectangular in cross-section, almost flat ventrally; its depth 5.2-6.4 times in standard length (SL): vertebrae 44-47; predorsal scales 25-31; scales in transverse row 6.5 to 8.5, usually 7.5; head 4.2-5.2 times in SL;
eye 3.1-3.3 times in head; jaws subequal, the teeth conspicuous, conical; no palatine teeth; gill rakers on first arch 24-29; low dorsal fin with 10-13 rays; anal fin with 10-13 rays, originating
slightly before, or 1 to 2 rays behind dorsal-fin origin; pectoral fins 1.2-1.4 times in SL, with 16-19 rays and the first two rays unbranched; pelvic fins 2.5-3.4 times in SL, inserted slightly nearer to posterior margin of opercle than origin of caudal-fin base; juveniles are not barbelled; colour of body dark above, pale below, the dorsal and caudal fins greyish and anal fin transparent; pectoral fins black without unpigmented cross-band and with a narrow light outer margin; pelvic fins usually with black spot. Juveniles less than 5,0 cm SL have a few dark transverse vertical bands on body; dorsal, pectoral and pelvic fins mottled with dark spots and bands (Ref. 109257)..
Feeds on zooplankton. Eggs demersal. No importance to fisheries (Ref. 109257)..
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Carpenter, K.E. and N. De Angelis (eds.), 2016. The living marine resources of the Eastern Central Atlantic. Vol. 3: Bony fishes part 1 (Elopiformes to Scorpaeniformes). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes, Rome, FAO. pp. 1511-2350. (Ref. 109257)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5002 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00427 (0.00164 - 0.01111), b=3.12 (2.89 - 3.35), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.0 ±0.1 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (16 of 100) .