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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Trichiurus lepturus Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: profile of head gently rising from tip of snout to behind orbit, then more sharply to dorsal fin origin; frontal ridges elevated; nape strongly elevated, with sagittal crest; lower hind margin of opercle concave. D III + 134-139; A II + 105-108; P 12; V O; spinous and soft portions of dorsal fin not divided by notch; spinous portion very short, indistinct; second spine before anal fin triangular, scale-like; external rays in anal fin absent; no pelvic fins; caudal fin entirely absent, tail tapering to a point. Lateral line descending from above gill opening to ventrolateral position. Colour: silvery, dusky at fin edges. Size: to 150 cm SL.

Habitat: benthopelagic in shallow water on continental shelf down to 350 m. Shoaling. A food fish, caught in Portugal and Mauritania, also in Mediterranean. Food: fishes, squids, crustaceans. Reproduction: July-August in Mediterranean.

Distribution: Mediterranean and Atlantic ocean southwards of Bay of Biscay; occasionally north of Ireland, England and southern Norway. Elsewhere, probably worldwide along mainland shores of tropical and subtropical seas.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Delsman, 1927: 338 | Nair, 1952: 225.
Otoliths (sagitta). Frost, 1928: 328, pl. 12 (fig. 3) | Frizzell & Exline, 1958: 284 | Bauzá-Rullán, 1959: 97, pl. 3 (fig. 37 42).

Cutlass fish (Trichiurus lepturus)