Crocodile Longtom (species: Tylosurus crocodilus) in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Tylosurus crocodilus
Crocodile Longtom

©Andy Lewis: A Crocodile Longtom swimming close to the water surface

©Anne Hoggett: A Crocodile Longtom at Cod Hole near Lizard Island

©Anne Hoggett: A school of Crocodile Longtom at Cod Hole
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Beloniformes
Family Belonidae
Genus Tylosurus
Species Tylosurus crocodilus



Distinguishing features

A large elongate silver fish with long slender jaws and numerous fine sharp teeth. The lower tail lobe is larger than the upper.


  • Up to 150 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Pelagic (dwells near the water surface) but comes close to coral reefs in order to hunt small fishes.

Found all around the island but usually close to coral reefs and shallow sandy areas.


An aggressive hunter, the Crocodile Longtom feeds on small fishes. Like the smaller garfish, it may jump and tail-walk over the water surface for long distances when attacking prey or when startled by a boat.

Web resources


  • unspecified - At night, Longtoms may tail-walk across the water surface at high speed toward a light source, and there are at least 5 recorded fatalities from Southern Japan alone. In one case a snorkeller was speared through the neck and had the carotoid artery severed, in another case a fisherman in a small boat was speared through the eye-socket and the Longtom's beak penetrated his brain.


  • Jabbar, A., A. Asnoussi, L.J. Norbury, A. Eisenbarth, S. Shamsi, R.B. Gasser, A.L. Lopata and I. Beveridge (2012). Larval anisakid nematodes in teleost fishes from Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 63: 1283-1299. LIRS catalog number 1584.
  • Lovejoy, N.R., M. Iranpour and B.B. Collette (2004). Phylogeny and jaw ontogeny of beloniform fishes, Integrative and Comparative Biology, 44: 366-377. LIRS catalog number 90022.
  • Tamaki, N., T. Mukai, E. Uchima, and H. Nagamori (1992). An autopsy case of a fisherman stabbed by needlefish, Research and Practice in Forensic Medicine, 35: 201-204. LIRS catalog number 90021.