Atlantic flyingfish

Cheilopogon melanurus

Family Exocoetidae - flyingfishes

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate, long; color iridescent blue above, white below; pectoral fins extremely long, reaching past origin of dorsal fin; pectoral fins with dark base and outer rays with a lighter triangular band in the middle; 1st pectoral ray unbranched, 2nd and rest of rays branched; dorsal and anal fins set far back on body; dorsal fin low, anterior rays longer than posterior rays; dorsal fin origin in front of anal fin origin; pelvic fins long, reaching past origin of anal fin; caudal fin dusky, lower lobe longer than upper lobe; young have dark bands on dorsal fin and body.
Similar Species
The color pattern on the pectoral fins is distinctive of the Atlantic flyingfish; other similar flyingfishes have the dorsal origin over the anal origin, larger dorsal fin, dark pigment on the dorsal fin, or the 1st 2 pectoral rays are unbranched.
Habitat
Gulf, may enter bays
Maximum Size
40 cm (15 1/2 in), common to 25 cm (10 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. 10-15; A. 8-12 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
State size/bag limits