New York Natural Heritage Program
Atlantic Needlefish
Strongylura marina (Walbaum, 1792)
Ray-finned Fishes
Atlantic Needlefish Univ. of Texas Marine Science Inst.
Family: Needlefishes (Belonidae)

State Protection: Not Listed
The species is not listed or protected by New York State.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S2S3
A State Rarity Rank of S2S3 means: Imperiled or Vulnerable in New York - Very vulnerable to disappearing from New York, or vulnerable to becoming imperiled in New York, due to rarity or other factors; typically 6 to 80 populations or locations in New York, few individuals, restricted range, few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or recent and widespread declines. More information is needed to assign a single conservation status.

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
When cooked, the bones of the needlefish turn green (Lake 1983).

State Ranking Justification [-]
This is a marine fish that is a regular visitor to the lower Hudson River during the summer months, with specimens captured as far north as Ulster Park (Smith 1985) and Germantown (Robert Daniels, pers. comm. 2007). A single specimen is also documented from the New York portion of the Delaware River, but it is not known how regularly this species occurs in this section of this river (Robert Daniels, pers. comm. 2007). It is thought to be a fairly common marine species with a restricted distribution in the state (marine and estuarine waters around Long Island and the lower Hudson River), but fluctuations in numbers, both in incidental capture data and anecdotal reports, have been observed since the late 1800s (Mearns 1898, Greeley 1937, Lake 2007, Socrates 2007) and there is uncertainty if this represents a decline in the population. The loss of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) at one location on the Hudson River has been associated with a reduction in needlefish numbers there (Lake 2007), but this may be from a resultant shift in habitat use, rather than a reduction in overall needlefish numbers. Additional information on the population and threats is needed to better assess the status of the population.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]