Duckbill Garfish, Rhynchorhamphus georgii (Valenciennes 1847)

Other Names: Duck-billed Garfish, George's Halfbeak, Long-jawed Garfish

Illustration of a Duckbill Garfish, Rhynchorhamphus georgii, from Townsville, Queensland. Source: Whitley (1931) Rec. Aust. Mus. 18(3): as Loligorhamphus normani. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

An unusual garfish (halfbeak) with a very large dome-shaped upper jaw.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Rhynchorhamphus georgii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Duckbill Garfish, Rhynchorhamphus georgii (Valenciennes 1847)

More Info


The Kimberley region, Western Australia, around the tropical north to off Sydney, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific.


Dorsal fin 13-17; Anal fin 13-16; Gill rakers 52-67 (first arch); Vertebrae 54-59.
Upper jaw much longer than wide, very strongly domed - the longest and most arched of the four species of Rhynchorhamphus; nasal papilla fimbriate; preorbital canal a long narrow tube with no posterior branch, with one or two central pores in addition to dorsal and ventral openings; a large number of gill-rakers, 52-67 on the first arch (compared to 18-39 in other Australian garfishes) and 45-61 on the second arch (compared to 15-33). 
Dorsal-fin base much longer than anal-fin base; pelvic fins placed far posteriorly. 

Species Citation

Hemiramphus georgii Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1847, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 19: 37. Type locality: Bombay, India.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Duckbill Garfish, Rhynchorhamphus georgii (Valenciennes 1847)


Collette, B.B. 1974. The garfishes (Hemiramphidae) of Australia and New Zealand. Records of the Australian Museum 29(2): 11-105 PDF

Collette, B.B. 1999. Family Hemiramphidae. pp. 2180-2196 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

Collette, B.B. & Su, J. 1986. The halfbeaks (Pisces, Beloniformes, Hemiramphidae) of the Far East. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 138(1): 250-301.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Jeyaseelan, M.J.P. 1998. Manual of fish eggs and larvae from Asian mangrove waters. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Paris. 193 pp.

Okiyama, M. 1993. An atlas of the early stage fishes in Japan. Koeltz Scientific Books, Germany. 1154 pp.

Talwar, P.K. 1962. A contribution to the biology of half-beak Hyporhampus georgii (Cuvier and Valenciennes) Hemirhamphidae. Indian J. Fish. 9(1): 168.

Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1847. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 19 544 pp. pls 554-590. 

Whitley, G.P. 1931. Studies in Ichthyology No. 4. Records of the Australian Museum 18(3): 96-133 figs 1-2 pls 11-16

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37234019

Depth:1-20 m

Habitat:Inshore marine, freshwater

Max Size:31 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map