Striped marlin have elongated bodies with a long thin pointed bill.
They have dark blue or black backs, with 12-16 blue vertical bars on the lower sides. When the fish is excited, the colour of these bars rapidly changes from blue to lavender via the contraction or expansion of chromatophores (special pigmented cells).
Striped marlin grow up to about 4 metres in length and 260 kg in weight. They are commonly found at 1.6-2.5 metres and 30-120 kg.
They have a life span of up to about 10 years.
Unlike other marlin species, striped marlin slashes their prey with their bill rather than impaling it.