Ablennes hians   (Valenciennes,  1846) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Flescher, D.

Max. size: 140 cm TL

Max. published weight: 4,800 g

Color: Back bluish green, sides and belly silvery white, with 12 to 14 prominent dark vertical bars on sides of body; tip of lower jaw red. Dorsal fin with a prominent dark lobe; pectoral fins with black tips; pelvic fins yellow.

Body shape eel-like. Since the jaws are frequently broken, the maximum length is given as body length excluding head and caudal fin. Body greatly compressed laterally; anterior parts of dorsal and anal fins with high falcate lobes. Pectoral fins falcate; about 12-14 prominent dark vertical bars on body; juveniles and adults have an elevated black lobe in the posterior part of the dorsal fin. In females, only left gonad is developed, and in males the right gonad is small or absent.
Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 23 - 26; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 24 - 28; Vertebrae: 86 - 93.

Oviparous, dioecious, external fertilization. Nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by filaments on the egg's surface.

Synonym (s)
Ablennes pacificus Walford, 1936
(Junior synonym)
Belone hians Valanciennes, 1846
(Senior synonym)
Belone maculata Poey, 1860
(Junior synonym)
Belone schismatorhynchus Bleeker, 1850
(Junior synonym)
Mastaccembelus melanostigma (Valenciennes, 1846)
(Junior synonym)
Mastacembelus fasciatus Bleeker, 1873
(Junior synonym)
Tylosurus caeruleofasciatus Stead, 1908
(Junior synonym)
Tylosurus hians (Valenciennes, 1846)
(Senior synonym)
Ablennes hians (Valenciennes, 1846)
(Senior synonym)
Belone melanostigma Valenciennes, 1846
(Junior synonym)
Ablenes hians (Valenciennes, 1846)
Athlennes hians (Valenciennes, 1846)

Common Name (s)
• Karunthonakunhi (English)
• Needlefish (English)
• Grassfish (English)
• Gar Fish (English)
• Gaping Needlefish (English)
• Flatsided Needlefish (English)
• Flat Needle Fish (English)
• Flat Billfish (English)
• Eel Pike (English)
• Barred Needlefish (English)
• Barred Longtom (English)
• Flat Needlefish (English)
• Karuthonakunhi (English)
• Barred Needle Fish (English)
• Kanda (Kannada)
• Ayakorakoli (Malayalam)
• Moakoli (Malayalam)
• Pallankoli (Malayalam)
• Pambankoli (Malayalam)
• Valai Mural (Tamil)
• Marakola (Tamil)
• Dethuntholi
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, game fish. Marketed fresh or dried)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Finfish, bony fish
Predator:  Anous stolidus, Sterna fuscata, Sphyraena barracuda


• Gulf of Oman
• Persian Gulf
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Kerala, Vizhinjam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 13.75) (Long: 94.25) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 6.75) (Long: 92.16) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • Ocean Biogeographic Information System Available at -
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - index/
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Abdul-Salam, J and Khalil, LF (1987) Two digeneans from the needlefish Ablennes hians in Kuwait and the description of a new genus and species, Neohaplosplanchnus ablennis (Haplosplanchnidae) Systematic Parasitology 10(2) 149-158 Available at - Zoological records
  • Tun, MT (2001) Marine fishes of Myanmar (pelagic and demersal) U Than Tun, Director-General, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Myanmar 276 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at -
  • Murty, VS (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 Available at -
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Roy, SD; Rajan, PT and Soundararajan, S (2006) Marine food fishes of Andaman and Nicobar islands Fishing Chimes 25(10) 108-110 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-24

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