Billfishes


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Billfishes, marlins and sailfishes are the common names for the members of the Istiophoridae family. The family members are distinguished by their upper jaw which prolonged into a long spear and round in cross-section. Their caudal fin are large and forked, with a pair of keels on either side at base, and a small shallow notch on both upper and lower profiles of caudal peduncle. Both their first dorsal fin and anal fins can be folded back into grooves.

Members of the Istiophoridae are found in the tropical and subtropical seas around the world. There are 5 genera and 11 species worldwide. In Malaysia there are 3 genera and 5 species.

Billfishes are among the largest and swiftest fishes of the oceans, mostly found near the surface of waters. They are long distance migratory fishes. They are carnivorous fish, and feed commonly on other schooling fishes, crustaceans and squids. They are excellent game fishes and frequently caught using drifting bait.


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Scientific Name: Istiophorus platypterus  (Shaw, 1792)
English Name: Indo-Pacific Sailfish
Mandarin Name: 雨伞旗鱼 (Yǔsǎn qí yú), 雨伞马林, (Yǔsǎn mǎ lín), 东方旗鱼 (Dōngfāng qí yú)
Local Malay Name: Layaran Pasifik, Mersuji, Layaran
Main Diagnostic Features: Sail-like dorsal fin.
Size: Maximum total length about 3.5 m. Maximum body weight about 100 kg.








Common Name: Striped Marlin
Scientific Name: Kajikia audax (Philippi, 1887)
Synonym: Tetrapturus audax (Philippi, 1887)
Mandarin Name: 红肉旗鱼 (Hóng ròu qí yú),箕作枪鱼 (Jīzuò qiāng yú), 马林鱼 (Mǎ lín yú)
Local Malay Name: Marlin, Mersuji Tahil
Main Diagnostic Features: Nape fairly elevated. Height of first dorsal fin higher than body depth
Size: Maximum total length about 3.5 m; body weight to about 200 kg.