• Spearfish, Longbill

Latin name

Tetrapturus pfluegeri

Other names

Longnose spearfish, Atlantic longbill spearfish; French: makaire becune; Japanese: kuchinaga, kuchinagafuura; Portuguese: espadim bicudo; Spanish: aguja picuda.


Spearfish can be distinguished from other fish species by their slender, light body, short beak, and dorsal fin at the front of the body. The belly is located far in front of the anal fin. The longbill spearfish has a beak about twice as long as the shortbill spearfish, but still noticeably shorter than other fish. Longbill spearfish have pectoral fins extending beyond the curve. They have more elements (45 to 53) in their first dorsal fin than any other Atlantic fish. The lateral line is single and arched over the pectoral fins. The dorsal fin is bright blue and has no spots. The vertical stripes on the body are never as prominent as in other fish, and may appear slightly or not at all.


Longbill spearfish are found in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean from New Jersey to Venezuela, including the Gulf of Mexico.


Spearfish are cosmopolitan, but are not found anywhere in abundance. They are a pelagic, offshore, deep-sea fish that are available throughout the year in small numbers, but are rarely caught by anglers in most areas of their range.


Longbill spearfish become sexually mature by two years of age and rarely survive to three years of age. The world record for this fish is 127 pounds, 13 ounces.

Life history and Behavior

No information

Food and feeding habits

Spearfish feed at or near the surface, mostly small and medium-sized fish and squid, including dolphins, saury, flying fish, and needlefish.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Istiophoriformes
Family Istiophoridae
Genus Tetrapturus
Species T. pfluegeri
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 5
Maximum body weight, kg 58
Maximum length, cm 254
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people No information
Way of eating Predator

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Spearfish, Longbill

Tags: Spearfish, Longbill