Striped Marlin, Kajikia audax (Philippi 1887)

Other Names: Beak, Beakie, Beaky, High-finned Spearfish, New Zealand Marlin, Stripey

Striped Marlin, Kajikia audax. Source: Howard Hall / Discover Life. License: All rights reserved


A dark blue marlin with a silvery-white underside, and about 20 cobalt blue bars on the sides that do not extend onto the belly.

Fabulous footage of Striped Marlin, Mahi Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), Sea Lions and a whale feeding on a school of sardines off Baja California, Mexico.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Schultz, S. 2017, Kajikia audax in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Striped Marlin, Kajikia audax (Philippi 1887)

More Info


The most widely distributed of all billfishes worldwide and in Australian waters. It can usually be found swimming above the thermocline, but unlike species it ventures more readily into higher latitudes, tolerating temperate waters. The species is strongly oceanic, rarely entering coastal waters, and is most often seen near islands, seamounts and boundary currents where it feeds and breeds.


Dorsal fin 37-42, 5-6; Anal fin 13-18, 5-6; Pectoral fin 18-22.

Body fairly elongate and somewhat compressed. Pectoral fins long and narrow with pointed tips. Tallest part of first dorsal fin higher than, or at least equal to, body depth. Pectoral fin depressible against side of body. Scales elongated and ossified, with 1-2 points in adults. Jaws and palatines possess fine, file-like teeth.


To 350 cm and 100 kg.


Dark blue dorsally, silver-white ventrally. About 20 vertical bars on sides, not extending onto the belly. Stripes consist of cobalt blue dots or narrow bands. First dorsal fin dark blue, other fins usually brown.


Feeds on a wide variety of fishes, crustaceans, and squids.


Eggs approximately 1 mm in diameter, but exact size not known. Larvae occur in sub-equatorial waters, in temperatures above 24 degrees. Sexual maturity is reaches at 140-180 cm length, which equates to 2-4 years of age.


Mainly targeted via surface longlines in the commercial fishery. The species is also a popular recreational target. Recent stock assessments indicate a declining Pacific stock(s), with commercial catch rates falling and the average size of fish captured decreasing.



Research indicates that Striped Marlin comprise four stocks: one in Australia and New Zealand, one centred in Hawaii, and two in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (McDowell & Graves 2008).

Similar Species

Species Citation

Histiophorus audax Philippi 1887, Anales de la Universidad de Chile (1)71: 35, pl. 8(2, 3). Type locality: Iquique, Chile.


Bray, D.J. & Schultz, S. 2017

Striped Marlin, Kajikia audax (Philippi 1887)


Bromhead, D., Pepperell, J., Wise, B. & Finlay, J. 2004. Striped marlin: Biology and ecology. Bureau of Rural Sciences, Canberra, 260 pp.

Collette, B.B. 2010. Reproduction and Development in Epipelagic Fishes. In: Cole, K.S. (ed.), Reproduction and Sexuality in Marine Fishes: Patterns and Processes, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

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Collette, B.B., McDowell, J.R. & Graves, J.E. 2006. Phylogeny of Recent billfishes (Xiphioidei). Bulletin of Marine Science 79(3): 455-468.

Domeier, M.L., Dewar, H., Nasby-Lucas, N. 2003. Mortality rate of striped marlin (Tetrapturus audax) caught with recreational tackle. Marine and Freshwater Research 54: 435-445.

Graves, J.E. & J.R. McDowell. 2003. Stock structure of the world's istiophorid billfishes: a genetic perspective. Marine and Freshwater Research, 54: 287-298.

IGFA. 2011. International Game Fish Association World Record Game Fishes. Dania Beach, Florida.

Kailola, P.J., Williams, M.J., Stewart, P.C., Reichelt, R.E., McNee, A. and Grieve, C. 1993. Australian fisheries resources. Bureau of Resource Sciences, Canberra, Australia.

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37444002

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Depth:0-289 m

Fishing:Commercial & game fish

Habitat:Pelagic, oceanodromous

Max Size:420 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map