Black marlin

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Black marlin
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Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Istiophoriformes
Family: Istiophoridae
Genus: Istiompax
Whitley, 1931
I. indica
Binomial name
Istiompax indica
(G. Cuvier, 1832)
  • Tetrapturus indicus G. Cuvier, 1832
  • Istiomax indicus (G. Cuvier, 1832)
  • Istiompax indicus (G. Cuvier, 1832)
  • Makaira indica (G. Cuvier, 1832)
  • Tetrapterus australis (sic) Macleay, 1854
  • Makaira australis (Macleay, 1854)
  • Tetrapturus australis Macleay, 1854
  • Histiophorus brevirostris (sic) Playfair, 1867
  • Istiompax brevirostris (Playfair, 1867)
  • Makaira brevirostris (Playfair, 1867)
  • Tetrapturus brevirostris (Playfair, 1867)
  • Makaira marlina D. S. Jordan & Hill, 1926
  • Istiompax marlina (D. S. Jordan & Hill, 1926)
  • Makaira ampla marlina D. S. Jordan & Hill, 1926
  • Makaira marlina marlina D. S. Jordan & Hill, 1926
  • Makaira nigricans marlina D. S. Jordan & Hill, 1926
  • Marlina marlina (D. S. Jordan & Hill, 1926)
  • Istiompax australis Whitley, 1931
  • Makaira nigricans tahitiensis Nichols & La Monte, 1935
  • Makaira ampla tahitiensis Nichols & La Monte, 1935
  • Makaira marlina tahitiensis Nichols & La Monte, 1935
  • Makaira mazara tahitiensis Nichols & La Monte, 1935
  • Istiompax dombraini Whitley, 1954
  • Makaira xantholineata Deraniyagala, 1956

The black marlin (Istiompax indica) is a species of marlin found in tropical and subtropical areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.[2] With a maximum published length of 4.65 m (15.3 ft) and weight of 750 kg (1,650 lb),[2] it is one of the largest marlins and also one of the largest bony fish. Marlin are among the fastest fish, but speeds are often wildly exaggerated in popular media, such as reports of 132 km/h (82 mph).[3] Recent research suggests a burst speed of 36 kilometres per hour (22 mph) is near the maximum rate.[4] Black marlin are fished commercially and are also a highly prized game fish. Black marlins have been known to drag Maldivian fishing boats of the ancient times for very long distances until it got tired; and then it would then take many hours for the fishermen to row or sail back home.[5]


French naturalist Georges Cuvier described the black marlin in 1832 as Tetrapturus indicus.


Compared to striped or white marlins and sailfish, black marlins are more solid than their blue counterparts. They have a shorter bill and a rounder and lower dorsal fin. Black marlin may be distinguished from all other marlin species by their rigid pectoral fins, which, especially from a weight of around 68 kilograms (150 lb), are unable to be pressed flat against their sides but can be tilted further backwards for reduced drag.[citation needed]


The species occurs in the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific, with uncommon movements into temperate waters, and rare reports from the Atlantic.[2]


Diet mostly consists of various fish and cephalopods. They may eat tuna, mackerel, snake mackerel, flying fish, squid, crustaceans, octopus, etc.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Collette, B.; Acero, A.; Canales Ramirez, C.; et al. (2011). "Istiompax indica". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T170312A6742465. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T170312A6742465.en.
  2. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2013). "Istiompax indica" in FishBase. April 2013 version.
  3. ^ BBC Worldwide (27-05-2008). Black marlin - the fastest fish on the planet. Ultimate Killers - BBC wildlife.
  4. ^ Svendsen, Morten B. S.; Domenici, Paolo; Marras, Stefano; Krause, Jens; Boswell, Kevin M.; Rodriguez-Pinto, Ivan; Wilson, Alexander D. M.; Kurvers, Ralf H. J. M.; Viblanc, Paul E.; Finger, Jean S.; Steffensen, John F. (15 October 2016). "Maximum swimming speeds of sailfish and three other large marine predatory fish species based on muscle contraction time and stride length: a myth revisited". Biology Open. 5 (10): 1415–1419. doi:10.1242/bio.019919. ISSN 2046-6390. PMC 5087677. PMID 27543056.
  5. ^ Romero-Frías, Xavier (2003). The Maldive Islanders : a study of the popular culture of an ancient ocean kingdom. Nova Ethnographia Indica. ISBN 84-7254-801-5. OCLC 55679148.
  • Tony Ayling & Geoffrey Cox, Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand, (William Collins Publishers Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand 1982) ISBN 0-00-216987-8