Other names: /
Latin name: Xiphias gladius
size: 2 - 4 m
mass: 150 - 600 kg
Older: 10 - 15 years
Appearance: characteristic Rostrum (muzzle), blue-gray to black coloring
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: preferably fish eater (piscivor)
food: Herring, squid, mackerel, tuna, sardine, anchovy
distribution: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: open seas and ocean
natural enemies: Orca
sexual maturity: about the age of five
mating season: April - September
oviposition: up to 30 million eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the swordfish
- The swordfish or Xiphias gladius describes a predatory bony fish that lives cosmopolitan in the open sea and populates tropical, subtropical or moderately warm waters.
- It is found in the Atlantic and Pacific as well as in the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Occasionally specimens are also spotted in the North Sea.
- The swordfish owes its name to its characteristic flattened rostrum, which appears like a sword and represents a bony extension of the upper jaw. In adult specimens, the rostum can make up one third of the total body length. Even with young fish, which are only one centimeter long, the rostrum is already formed.
- Swordfish are usually about two meters long and bring a weight of up to 160 kilograms on the scales. However, swordfish are caught that are over four meters long and weigh more than half a ton.
- The swordfish is of spindle-shaped physique, which appears oval in cross-section. While young fish have a single fin running the entire back, adult specimens have two widely spaced dorsal fins.
- The color of the swordfish ranges from blue-gray to dark brown or almost black. The ventral side appears much brighter.
- In the course of their migrations, swordfish can travel well over a thousand kilometers within one month and reach speeds of over one hundred kilometers per hour.
- They have no ventral fins, so they can not slow down. As a result, accidents happen time and time again when a swordfish pierces a boat or a human with its rostrum.
- Swordfish are hardly picky about their prey. They hunt for various shoaling fish such as mackerel, tuna, herring barracudas or sardines, but also capture various cephalopods, which they slash with their rostrum or kill with blows with this.
- The spawning period covers the spring and summer months, when the water temperature is about 23 degrees Celsius.
- Female swordfish can produce up to five million eggs during their lifetime.
- The young fish develop very fast and soon adopt a predatory lifestyle.
- The life expectancy of the swordfish is about twelve years.
- The swordfish is a popular fish whose meat is reminiscent of the strength and low fat content of that tuna and can be prepared in a variety of ways. However, it may contain mercury in older specimens and therefore should not be regularly on the menu.