Home / About Egypt / Red Sea Fish / Swordfish


Region: Egypt
Created: Sep 06, 2010, modified: Jan 13, 2012, overall rating: 1.000

Pelagic fish.
Depth habitats from 0 to 800 meters
Record copy: length 4,55 m, weight 650 kg

Swordfish or swordfish (Latin: Xiphias gladius) - the only member of the family mecherylye. Length up to 4-4,5 m, weighs up to 0.5 m. The upper jaw is elongated in the xiphoid process. Is found mainly in tropical and subtropical waters, occurs sporadically in the Black and Azov Seas. When sailing can reach speeds of at least 130 km / h. Is the target species.

Swordfish got its name thanks greatly elongated and flattened upper jaw, which has the shape of a pointed sword, and makes up one-third length of all fish. Torpedo body of adult swordfish devoid of scales, which helps speed swimming. Swordfish - fast and active swimmer speeds up to 130 km / hour. On the tail stem on each side is located to the strong lateral keel. The front part of the fins are triangular, pointed blades, and back are very small and referred to the caudal peduncle. Pelvic fins with swordfish are absent, the tail has a crescent shape, just showing the high-speed qualities of its owner. Teeth in adults do not. Gill filaments fused in the mesh plate. In contrast, marlin and sailfish, lanceolate upper jaw which has only the hydrodynamic value, "sword" of the considered form is used for hitting production. Fish and squid, found in the stomachs of swordfish, contane of two parts, or have other signs of damage caused by "the sword".

Swordfish is one of the most typical representatives of fish fauna of the open ocean and are rarely found in coastal waters. This species is very widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of all oceans, and  in the period of feeding migrations and penetrates in a moderately warm water. In the Atlantic Ocean, for example, swordfish catches in the feeding period in Newfoundland and Iceland, as well as in the North Sea, and some individuals even go so far in Northern Norway. In Russian waters, it is known from the Black and Azov Seas, which sometimes come fatten specimens from the Mediterranean basin. During the fattening swordfish occurs over a very wide temperature range (12-15 ° C and above), but the spawn of this species occurs only in the tropical zone at or below 23,5 ° C.

Fecundity of swordfish is very high - in a female weighing 68 kg were counted about 16 million eggs. Caviar, burst out in the open sea, has a relatively large size (1,5-1,8 mm) and equipped with essential fatty subshell. Hatch larvae have a short snout, but even when the length of 6-8 mm in the upper jaw is starting to stretch into a sword. For larvae and juveniles characterized by the development of original coarse flakes, armed prickly thorns and placed on the body of longitudinal rows. In contrast to adult fish in the young are normal maxillary teeth, and the continuous dorsal and anal fins not divided into front and rear.

Juveniles Swordfish inhabit the surface layers of water, apparently not sinking deeper 2-3 m. The larvae initially feed on zooplankton, but very early - at a length of 1 cm - go to eating smaller fish. They grow quickly and reach a length of 50-60 cm at the first year of life, three-year swordfish are 100-120 cm in length. At this age, they tend to move to the periphery of the tropical zone, where they continue to actively feed. Puberty occurs when the 140-170 cm, at the age of five or six years, and the largest swordfish reach 4-4,5 m in length with a weight exceeding 400 kg. Large individuals, appears to have engaged in more or less regular migrations between tropical waters, where spawning occurs.

The list of prey items of this type appear not only to the relatively small near-surface, but large carnivores such as tuna and even sharks last, however, fall into the food composition is very rare. To a greater depth swordfish usually omitted, but in search of food, with its deficit, is capable of not too long dive. When approaching the coast swordfish hunt and fish on the bottom.

Listed as endangered

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