Needlefishes are voracious predators of
small fishes just below the water's surface. The mouth has jaws of equal length lined with large needle-like
teeth. The lower lobe of the
caudal fin is elongated to provide lift as it skitters along the water's surface
when disturbed and large fish have caused fatalities when accidentally running
into fishermen. Needlefishes have dark oily flesh that is delicious
broiled but the blue bones are revolting to some. Several species occur in
Hawaii but may be difficult to separate without careful examination.
TROPICAL WESTERN ATLANTIC
Halfbeaks are elongate silvery fish with unequal jaws, the lower being very long while the upper is very short, a design well-suited to capture surface-dwelling plankton.
They are an important prey item for seabirds and apex predators.