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Free Content Using head measurements to distinguish white marlin Kajikia albida from roundscale spearfish Tetrapturus georgii in the western North Atlantic

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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.

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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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