Sailfish
Overview
 
'Sailfish' are two species of fish in the genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Istiophorus, living in warmer sections of all the oceans of the world. They are predominately blue to gray in color and have a characteristic erectile dorsal fin
Dorsal fin
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

 known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of the back. Another notable characteristic is the elongated bill, resembling that of the swordfish
Swordfish
Swordfish , also known as broadbill in some countries, are large, highly migratory, predatory fish characterized by a long, flat bill. They are a popular sport fish of the billfish category, though elusive. Swordfish are elongated, round-bodied, and lose all teeth and scales by adulthood...

 and other marlin
Marlin
Marlin, family Istiophoridae, are fish with an elongated body, a spear-like snout or bill, and a long rigid dorsal fin, which extends forward to form a crest. Its common name is thought to derive from its resemblance to a sailor's marlinspike...

s. They are therefore described as billfish
Billfish
The term billfish is applied to a number of different large, predatory fish characterised by their large size and their long, sword-like bill. Billfish include the sailfish and marlin, which make up the family Istiophoridae, and the swordfish, sole member of the family Xiphiidae...

 in sport fishing circles.

Both species of sailfish grow quickly, reaching 1.2 metre in length in a single year, and feed on the surface or at mid-depths on smaller pelagic
Pelagic fish
Pelagic fish live near the surface or in the water column of coastal, ocean and lake waters, but not on the bottom of the sea or the lake. They can be contrasted with demersal fish, which do live on or near the bottom, and reef fish which are associated with coral reefs.The marine pelagic...

 forage fish
Forage fish
Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding...

 and squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
'Sailfish' are two species of fish in the genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Istiophorus, living in warmer sections of all the oceans of the world. They are predominately blue to gray in color and have a characteristic erectile dorsal fin
Dorsal fin
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

 known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of the back. Another notable characteristic is the elongated bill, resembling that of the swordfish
Swordfish
Swordfish , also known as broadbill in some countries, are large, highly migratory, predatory fish characterized by a long, flat bill. They are a popular sport fish of the billfish category, though elusive. Swordfish are elongated, round-bodied, and lose all teeth and scales by adulthood...

 and other marlin
Marlin
Marlin, family Istiophoridae, are fish with an elongated body, a spear-like snout or bill, and a long rigid dorsal fin, which extends forward to form a crest. Its common name is thought to derive from its resemblance to a sailor's marlinspike...

s. They are therefore described as billfish
Billfish
The term billfish is applied to a number of different large, predatory fish characterised by their large size and their long, sword-like bill. Billfish include the sailfish and marlin, which make up the family Istiophoridae, and the swordfish, sole member of the family Xiphiidae...

 in sport fishing circles.

Both species of sailfish grow quickly, reaching 1.2 metre in length in a single year, and feed on the surface or at mid-depths on smaller pelagic
Pelagic fish
Pelagic fish live near the surface or in the water column of coastal, ocean and lake waters, but not on the bottom of the sea or the lake. They can be contrasted with demersal fish, which do live on or near the bottom, and reef fish which are associated with coral reefs.The marine pelagic...

 forage fish
Forage fish
Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding...

 and squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

. Individuals have been clocked at speeds of up to 110 kilometre per hour, which is the highest speed reliably reported in a fish. Generally, sailfish do not grow to more than 3 metres (9.8 ft) in length and rarely weigh over 90 kilograms (198.4 lb).

The sail is normally kept folded down and to the side when swimming, but it may be raised when the sailfish feels threatened or excited, making the fish appear much larger than it actually is. This tactic has also been observed during feeding, when a group of sailfish use their sails to "herd" a school of fish or squid.

Sailfish are highly prized game fish
Game fish
Game fish are fish pursued for sport by recreational anglers. They can be freshwater or marine fish. Game fish can be eaten after being caught, though increasingly anglers practise catch and release to improve fish populations. Some game fish are also targeted commercially, particularly...

 and are known for their incredible jumps. They can appear in a startling array of colors, from subdued browns and grays to vibrant purples and even silver. Their body colors are often highlighted by stripes of iridescent blue and silver dots. Sailfish can change their colors almost instantly - a change controlled by their nervous system. The sailfish can rapidly turn its body light blue with yellowish stripes when excited, confusing its prey and making capture easier, while signalling its intentions to fellow sailfish.

Species

  • Atlantic sailfish
    Atlantic sailfish
    The Atlantic sailfish, Istiophorus albicans, is a species of marine fish in the family Istiophoridae of the order Perciformes. It is found in the Atlantic Oceans and the Caribbean Sea, except for large areas of the central North Atlantic and the central South Atlantic, from the surface to depths of...

     (Istiophorus albicans).
  • Indo-Pacific sailfish
    Indo-Pacific sailfish
    The Indo-Pacific sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus, is a sailfish native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is dark blue on top, brown-blue laterally, silvery white underbelly; upper jaw elongated in form of spear; first dorsal fin greatly enlarged in the form of a sail, with many black cones,...

    (Istiophorus platypterus).

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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