Needlefish, a marine fish with long, pointed jaws. Its slender body, two to four feet (60 to 120 cm) long, is greenish above and silvery below. The needlefish lives just below the surface, and often leaps out of the water. Of the 60 species of needlefishes, 7 are found in North American waters. The Atlantic needlefish occurs from Maine to Texas. It ascends rivers, and frequently is mistaken for a gar (an unrelated freshwater fish of similar shape).
The Atlantic needlefish is Strongylura marina of the family Belonidae.Needlefish, like all ray-finned beloniforms, are capable of making short jumps out of the water at up to 60 kilometres per hour.Since needlefish swim near the surface, they often leap over the decks of shallow boats rather than going around. This jumping activity is greatly excited by artificial light at night; night fisherman and divers in areas across the Pacific Ocean have been “attacked” by schools of suddenly excited needlefish diving across the water towards the light source at high speed. Their sharp beak is capable of inflicting deep puncture wounds, often breaking off inside the victim in the process. For many traditional Pacific Islander communities, who primarily fish on reefs from low boats, needlefish represent an even greater risk of injury than sharks.