Belone svetovidovi

Belone svetovidovi

Short-beaked garfish (Belone svetovidovi Collette & Parin, 1970) is a marine fish belonging to the Belonidae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Animalia,
Phylum Chordata,
Superclass Gnathostomata,
Actinopterygii class,
Subclass Neopterygii,
Infraclasse Teleostei,
Superorder Acanthopterygii,
Beloniformes order,
Suborder Belonoidei,
Belonidae family,
Genus Belone,
Species B. svetovidovi.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Short-beaked garfish is a marine fish found along the north-eastern coast of the eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Southern Ireland to Spain and Portugal, including some populations living in the Mediterranean Sea, where it was previously confused with the Belone belone for the its almost identical morphology and for the sharing of the same marine areas.
In Italy it is reported in the southern seas and in the Mediterranean.
Its marine habitat is that of oceanic and Mediterranean waters of the temperate pelagic climate.

Description –
The Belone svetovidovi is a fish with an elongated body, somewhat compressed, especially in the terminal part, with a maximum length of 80 cm, more commonly of 30-40 cm.
It has a dark blue dorsally, which becomes silvery white, with pearly reflections, on the sides. Along the latter runs a blue striped band, which characterizes the species in relation to B. Belone. The belly is instead white.
The head is long and is characterized by a horny development of both jaws, in the shape of a robust beak.
The mandible is somewhat longer with 13-21 small and closely spaced teeth, while there are no teeth on the vomer. There are 38-52 spines on the first arch.
The dorsal fin has 6-19 rays and is symmetrical to the anal which has 20-23 rays and is slightly lower.
The pectoral fins are modest and have 11-13 rays. The first anal is small and positioned further back than B. belone. The caudal is forked, with a slightly longer lower lobe.
There is also a lateral keel on the caudal peduncle. This species has 75-83 vertebrae.
The specific name is in honor of Anatolii Nikolaevich Svetovidov (1903-1985) who was an ichthyologist at the Zoological Institute of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Biology –
Little information is available on the biology and reproduction of Belone svetovidovi.
It is, however, an oviparous species, and the eggs can be found attached to objects in the water by tendrils on the surface of the egg.
These spherical eggs are scattered on the sea floor (demersal).

Ecological Role –
The Belone svetovidovi is a fish that leads pelagic life. Nothing is known about its eating habits but, probably, it preys on small deep-sea fish.
This fish is caught with purse seines, gillnets and fishing lines and was caught using mackerel (Scomber scombrus Linnaeus, 1758). It is marketed fresh, but very occasionally and in some markets it reaches a very high price, and can be found both fresh and frozen.

Guido Bissanti

– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Louisy P., 2016. Guide to the identification of marine fish of Europe and the Mediterranean. Il Castello Editore, Milan.
– Nikiforos G., 2008. Mediterranean fauna. Giunti Editore, Florence.
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