Atlantic Needlefish

Strongylura marina

Image by SEFC Pascagoula Laboratory; Collection of Brandi Noble, NOAA/NMFS/SEFC on Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Physical: The Atlantic needlefish has a long, narrow body with a greenish back. The silvery sides have a thin, bluish-silver stripe along each side.  It can grow to 2 feet in length.  Adults have long, slender jaws filled with small teeth.  Their slender physique lends to a very quick darting swimming ability.

Habitat: The Atlantic needlefish lives in shallow water near the shoreline and is often found near marshes, beaches, and seagrass beds right near the surface of the water.

Feeding: This species feeds on shrimp and small fish, such as killifishes and silversides.  It catches its prey sideways in its scissor-like jaws.

Breeding: The Atlantic needlefish spawns May to June. The round eggs have long adhesive filaments which attach to submerged aquatic vegetation and other surfaces.  Since most are in shallow waters, their clutch can be found mostly in algae and eelgrass beds.

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