Tetrapturus angustirostris

Spanish:  Marlin Trompa Corta

The Shortbill Spearfish is characterized by a slender, dark blue body, silver-white below, and a very short spear extending from its upper jaw that is less than 15 percent of its total body length.

The dorsal fin of the Shortbill Spearfish is high in the front, with a triangular peak that extends to a height greater than the body depth (which is higher than marlins but less than sailfish). The Shortbill Spearfish's dorsal fin is blue with no spots, gradating to blue blotched brown in the posterior sections, and it maintains much of its height throughout its length. The Shortbill Spearfish has short pectoral fins and slender pelvic fins that are twice as long as the pectoral fins. The caudal and pectoral fins are black with white tips; the anal fins are white. A dark single lateral line arches over the pectoral fins. There are no bars or vertical stripes on its sides.

The Shortbill Spearfish is a tropical and temperate water species normally found above the thermal incline. However it has been observed at depths up to 1 mile. It prefers water temperatures of 20 to 28 degrees Centigrade. It feeds on mackerel, mullet, small tuna, cephalopods and crustaceans. The Shortbill Spearfish is not easy to confuse with other species due to its short sword and wide dorsal fin.

The Shortbill Spearfish is a prized but not targeted species due to its rarity, and it is normally caught only incidentally by swordfish longliners.

 It is reported to reach a maximum length of 7.5 feet, and a fish of 115 pounds has been collected commercially. Fish weighing about 35 pounds are normal.


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