Ribbon Halfbeak
Agujeta Alargada
(Euleptorhamphus viridis)

Ribbon Halfbeak, Euleptorhamphus viridis: The Ribbon Halfbeak is a very easy fish to identify due to its thin body shape, halfbeak, and disproportionately long pectoral fins.

They have a very long ribbon like body and are silvery on the sides, bluish or greenish above and the fins are transparent.

They have a very long lower beak (37 percent to 45 percent of standard length) and very long pectoral fins (25 percent to 28 percent of standard length). The tail is deeply forked with a large lower lobe.

The Ribbon Halfbeak cannot be confused with any other fish species.

They are a coastal pelagic species that reaches a maximum length of 53 cm (21 inches) and are found on the surface in the first 15 feet in the water column. They are present in all Mexican waters of the Pacific with the exception of the northern 40 percent of the Sea of Cortez.

The Ribbon Halfbeak is a member of the Hemiramphidae Family which are known in Mexico as pajaritos. Halfbeaks are found globally in all tropical and temperate seas. They are elongated silver fish with an elongated lower jaw that extends into a long beak. The upper jaw is short, triangular in shape, covered with scales and has a ridge before the eyes. Halfbeaks have anal fins (with 14 to 17 rays) and dorsal fins at the rear of the body that are opposite each other. The pelvic fins are under the abdomen, the pectoral fins are high on the sides, the caudal fin is concave or slightly forked with a longer lower lobe, and the lateral line is low on the body.

The halfbeaks are a surface large-school species that feed on seaweed, fish larvae, zooplankton, crustaceans, and other small invertebrates. Halfbeaks are preyed on by large predatory fishes. In some parts of the world they are utilized as a food fish. There are 104 halfbeaks known globally of which five reside in Mexican waters.

Ribbon Halfbeak picture

Ribbon Halfbeak picture

Ribbon Halfbeak, Euleptorhamphus viridis: Collected by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in August 2011. Length 42.5 cm (16.7 inches). Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.