Hairtails


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Hairtails, cutlassfishes, scabbardfishes and frostfishes are the common names for the members of the Trichiuridae family. The family members are characterized by their ribbon-like, extremely elongate and strongly compressed body. Their dorsal fin is very long, extending over length of body. Their caudal fin is tapered to a point, or very small and forked.

Members of the Trichiuridae are found in the tropical to warm-temperate waters of Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. There are 10 genera and about 46 species worldwide. They can be found from the surface to a depth of about 2000 m. They have extremely strong and fang-like teeth. They are known to be voracious predators, feeding on fishes, squids, and crustaceans.


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Scientific Name: Assurger anzac  (Alexander, 1917)
English Name: Razorback Scabbardfish
French Name: Poisson-sabre rasoir
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 长剃刀带鱼 (Zhǎng tìdāo dàiyú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Timah, Layur, Loroi, Langeng, Selayur, Timah-layur
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาดาบเงิน (Plā dābngein)
Local Hokkien: Pek Tua
Main Identification Features: Body extremely elongate and strongly compressed. Caudal fin present, small and forked. Head profile with a prominent sagittal crest. No notch between spinous and soft part of dorsal fin.
Size: Maximum standard length 225 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Adult presumed to be benthopelagic, at 150 to 400 m depth while juveniles are found near the surface or in midwater. Feeds on fishes and squids.






Scientific Name: Lepturacanthus savala  (Cuvier, 1829)
English Name: Savalani Hairtail
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 白带鱼 (Bái dàiyú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Timah, Layur, Loroi, Langeng, Selayur, Timah Pucuk
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาดาบเงิน (Plā dābngein)
Local Hokkien: Pek Tua
Main Identification Features: Body extremely elongate and strongly compressed. Caudal tapering part very long. Snout long, its length 2 to 2.5 times in head length. 2 small forward directed canine teeth present in upper jaw. Lower hind margin of gill cover concave. Tip of both jaws black.
Size: Maximum standard length 100 cm, commonly to 70 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Benthopelagic, to about 100 m depth. Often comes close to the surface at night. A highly carnivore fish, feeding mainly on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods. A preference for fishes of the genera Stolephorus, Sardinella and Dussumieria, prawns of the genera, Penaeus and Metapenaeus and shrimps of the genus Acetes. Cannibalism of juveniles had also been recorded.










Scientific Name: Trichiurus lepturus  Linnaeus, 1758
English Name: Large-head hairtail
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 白带鱼 (Bái dàiyú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Timah, Layur, Loroi, Langeng, Timah Selayur
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาดาบเงินใหญ่ (Plā dābngein yai)
Local Hokkien: Pek Tua
Main Identification Features: Body extremely elongate and strongly compressed, tapering into a hair-like process. Free margin of subopercle concave. Dorsal fin relatively high. Fangs on jaws with barbs.
Size: Maximum total length 234 cm, commonly between 50 and 100 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Benthopelagic, from shallow inshore waters to 350 m depth, usually in dense schools. Juveniles feed mostly on euphausiids, small pelagic planktonic crustaceans and small fishes. Adults become more piscivorous and feed on larger pelagic fishes, and occasionally on squids and crustaceans. Large adults usually feed near the surface during daytime and migrate to bottom at night. Juveniles and small adults form schools in midwater during the daytime and disperse into loose feeding aggregations at night near the surface.





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