State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Belone belone (Linnaeus, 1761)

  • Esox belone Linnaeus, 1761
  • Belone acus Risso, 1827
  • Belone cornidii Günther, 1866
  • Belone euxini Günther, 1866
  • Belone linnei Malm, 1877
  • Belone longirostris Schinz, 1822
  • Belone rostrata Faber, 1829
  • Belone undecimradiata Budge, 1848
Vernacular Name
Garpike, Garfish, Gar-fish
Conservation status
No status defined
Value of species
Three subspecies are recognized (Collette and Parin 1970, Collette 2003): Belone belone belone (Linnaeus, 1761) from northeastern Atlantic Ocean, Belone belone euxini Günther, 1866 from the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, and Belone belone acus Risso, 1826 from the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent parts of the Atlantic, Madeira, Canary Islands, Azores, and south to the Cape Verde Islands. This species occurs in the northeast Atlantic where its range extends from Norway to south to Madeira, Canary Islands, the Azores and Cape Verde (occasional strays have been taken farther north: the White Sea, the Murman coast and south Iceland (B.B. Collette pers comm 2014)). Three subspecies have been recognized: Belone belone belone Linnaeus, 1761 from Europe north of the Mediterranean Sea; B. belone euxini Günther, 1866 from the Black Sea and Sea of Azov; and B. belone acus Risso, 1827 (or B. belone gracilis Lowe, 1839) from the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent parts of the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira, Azores, Canary Islands, and Cape Verde Islands (Collette in press). This species is considered to be widespread throughout the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It is likely to be even more widespread than current fisheries records show. This species is seasonally common in the Mediterranean Sea. There is no specific information available on recent or current population trends. This epipelagic species is found in surface waters and has a migratory pattern similar to that of the mackerel (Muus and Nielsen 1999). It feeds on small fishes, particularly in the families Clupeidae and Engraulidae (in the Black Sea). This species is oviparous and eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by tendrils (Breder and Rosen 1966). In the Eastern Atlantic, it spawns from February to May in Algeria (Collette in press). The International Game Fish Association all-tackle game fish record is 1.2 kg for a fish caught in France in 2002 (IGFA 2009). Maximum size recorded is 62cm body length (Collette and Parin 1990) and fecundity is 6,000 per female. It is a commercial species, which is sold fresh and frozen. It is exported internationally for food and is also sport fished and used as bait. It is sometimes a target species in sport and recreational fisheries. There is a good market for Garpike in the Mediterranean Sea.
Book reference
  • Котенко Т.И., Ардамацкая Т.Б., Дубина Д.В. и др. Биоразнообразие Джарылгача: современное состояние и пути сохранения // Вісник зоології. – 2000. – Спец. випуск. – 240 с.
  • Соколов Н.Ю. Каталог колекції круглоротих і риб Державного природознавчого музею НАН України // Наукові записки Державного природознавчого музею. – Львів, 2004. – Т.19. – С. 15-28.
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Taxonomic branch