Using head measurements to distinguish white marlin Kajikia albida from roundscale spearfish Tetrapturus georgii in the western North Atlantic
Abstract:The morphometric characteristics that separate white marlin Kajikia albida (Poey, 1860) from roundscale spearfish Tetrapturus georgii Lowe, 1841 can be difficult for non-experts to distinguish, particularly when the animals are in the water. Using the measurements of the lower jaw tip to the longest branchiostegal ray (LJBR) and the opercle (LJOP), a discriminant function is presented that will help field observers separate the two species. The function DR–W = LJBR (3.31861) + LJOP (−2.84856) – 6.37198 classified specimens as roundscale spearfish when DR–W was > 0 and as white marlin when DR–W < 0 with a 95% correct classification rate overall. Since only the head of a specimen needs to be closely observed, the method has particular utility for tournament anglers during the hook removal process.
Document Type: Short Communication
Publication date: January 1, 2011
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