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For other uses, see Ballyhoo (disambiguation).
Halfbeak Cuba.JPG
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Beloniformes
Family: Hemiramphidae
Genus: Hemiramphus
Species: H. brasiliensis
Binomial name
Hemiramphus brasiliensis
(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Esox brasiliensis Linnaeus, 1758
  • Hemiramphus brownii Valenciennes, 1847
  • Macrognathus brevirostris Gronow, 1854
  • Hemirhamphus filamentosus Poey, 1860

The Ballyhoo halfbeak or Bally, (Hemiramphus brasiliensis), is a baitfish of the halfbeak family (Hemiramphidae). It is similar to the Balao halfbeak in most features. Ballyhoo are frequently used as cut bait and for trolling purposes by saltwater sportsmen. The fish is known to have reports of ciguatera poisoning to humans.

The fish also known as Balahu, Redtailed balao, Yellowtail ballyhoo, Ballyhoo can also be seen above the waters skimming the surface to escape from their predators. The appearance is similar to skipping stones on the water.[citation needed]


The body shows typical halfbeak shape with an elongated lower jaw and cylindrical elongated body. [1] They have no spines on fins, but do have 13-14 rays of their dorsal fins and 12-13 rays on their anal fins.[1] The longest recorded Jumping halfbeak was 55 cm long, but most do not exceed 35 cm. There is no ridge between nostril and eye. It feeds mainly on sea grasses and small fish.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Jumping halfbeak is a surface living sub-tropical reef associated species found in Western Atlantic oceans extends from USA, around Gulf of Mexico, Brazil to western Cape Verde, Senegal to Angola and around few countries around Indian ocean, such as India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2015). "Hemiramphus brasiliensis" in FishBase. 07 2015 version.