• Garfish

Latin name

Belone belone

Other names

Garpike, sea needle


It has an elongated, narrow, eel-like body that resembles that of a needlefish. The scales are very fine, pearly and shiny. The jaws are very elongated and form a characteristic "beak" similar to that of a pterodactyl. Due to its high biliverdin content, the bones of this fish are light to dark green in colour.


Garfish are found in large numbers in the Black Sea and other seas.


A marine, gregarious, pelagic fish that lives in the water column and near the surface.


Maximum length is 104 cm, normal length is 70-75 cm and maximum mass is 1.4 kg.

Life history and Behavior

They make seasonal migrations. In spring the adults move closer to the coast to breed and in winter they move out to sea.

Food and feeding habits

Small sharp teeth on the beak allow the fish to grab small prey - sprat, hamsa, tulka, crustaceans - while swimming fast.


Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 5-6 years, males a year earlier. They begin their reproductive period in spring. Spawning is batch spawning, with the female laying up to 9 portions of eggs at 2-week intervals. The eggs are large, 3-3.5 mm in diameter, and are attached to algae and other aquatic vegetation with the help of thin sticky threads. Fecundity up to 45 thousand eggs. The length of the hatched larvae is 13 mm. Juveniles have a very short upper jaw, which lengthens as they grow.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Beloniformes
Family Belonidae
Genus Belone
Species B. belone
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 7
Maximum body weight, kg 1,4
Maximum length, cm 104
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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