Indo-Pacific sailfish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Indo-Pacific sailfish
Istiophorus platypterus.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Istiophoriformes
Family: Istiophoridae
Genus: Istiophorus
Species: I. platypterus
Binomial name
Istiophorus platypterus
(Shaw, 1792)
  • Xiphias platypterus Shaw, 1792
  • Scomber gladius Bloch, 1793
  • Histiophorus gladius (Bloch, 1793)
  • Istiophorus gladius (Bloch, 1793)
  • Xiphias velifer Bloch & Schneider, 1801
  • Istiophorus gladifer Lacepède, 1801
  • Histiophorus immaculatus Rüppell, 1830
  • Istiophorus immaculatus (Rüppell, 1830)
  • Histiophorus indicus Cuvier, 1832
  • Histiophorus orientalis Temminck & Schlegel, 1844
  • Istiophorus orientalis (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844)
  • Istiophorus triactis Klunzinger, 1871
  • Istiophorus dubius Bleeker, 1872
  • Istiophorus japonicus Jordan & Thompson, 1914
  • Istiophorus eriquius Jordan & Ball, 1926
  • Istiophorus greyi Jordan & Evermann, 1926
  • Istiophorus brookei Fowler, 1933
  • Istiophorus ludibundus Whitley, 1933
  • Istiophorus amarui Curtiss, 1944
Exhibiting sail-raising behavior

The Indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) is a sailfish native to the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. It has entered the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal as a Lessepsian migrant.[1] It is dark blue on top, brown-blue laterally, silvery white underbelly; upper jaw elongated in the form of a spear; first dorsal fin greatly enlarged in the form of a sail, with many black cones, its front squared off, highest at its midpoint; pelvic fins very narrow, reaching almost to the anus; body covered with embedded scales, blunt at end; lateral line curved above pectoral fin, then straight to base of tail. They have a large and sharp bill, which they use for hunting. They feed on tuna and mackerel, some of the fastest fish in the Ocean. Some authorities only recognise a single species of sailfish, I. platyperus.[2]

It is theorized by marine biologists that the 'sail' (dorsal fin array) of the sailfish may serve the purpose of a cooling and heating system for this fish; this due to a network of a large number of blood vessels found in the sail and because of "sail-raising" behaviour exhibited by the sailfish at or near the surface waters after or before high-speed bursts.


Capture of Indo-Pacific sailfish in tonnes from 1950 to 2009


  1. ^ a b Collette, B.; Acero, A.; Amorim, A.F.; et al. (2011). "Istiophorus platypterus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2011: e.T170338A6754507. Retrieved 12 May 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Istiophorus platypterus" in FishBase. February 2018 version.