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Author: Lacepede, 1801

Makaira nigricans Lacepede, 1801

Diagnosis: body fairly deep, nape rising quite steeply, bill long, very stout, round in cross-section. Pectoral fins greater than post-orbital part of head, capable of being folded back against body; pelvic fins shorter, with poorly developed membrane; first dorsal fin with high anterior lobe, but less than body depth, with 39-43 finrays, second dorsal fin with 6-7 finrays; first anal fin with 13- 16 finrays, second with 6-7 finrays; anus close to first anal fin origin; 2 horizontal keels on each side of caudal peduncle, caudal fin large, strongly forked. Body densely covered with imbedded scales, each with 1-2 long and acute spines. Colour: back bluish or grey-blue, lower flanks paler, belly silvery; fins dark, first dorsal fin with blue marks. Size: to about 4 m TL.

Habitat: epipelagic, oceanic, usually above the thermocline; fastswimming and strongly migratory. Food: a wide range of pelagic fishes, also crustaceans, cephalopods; bill probably used to attack prey. Reproduction: mainly July-September in eastern Atlantic; females grow larger, but are otherwise similar to males.

Distribution: warmer parts of area, northward to northwestern Spain; elsewhere, southward to southern Africa, also in western Atlantic and all warm seas.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Ueyanagi, 1957, 1962, 1963 | Gehringer, 1957: 169, fig. 25 | de Sylva, 1958, 1963a-b | Sun, 1960 | Caldwell, 1962 | Eschmeyer & Buliis, 1968 | Bartlett & Haedrich, 1968 | Ovchinnikov, 1971: 10 et passim.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Blue marlin (Makaira nigricans)