Cheilopogon melanurus

Cheilopogon melanurus
Atlantic Flyingfish – Cheilopogon melanurus – Juvenile
FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
ExocoetidaeCheilopogon melanurus(Valenciennes)1847Atlantic Flyingfish

Cheilopogon melanurus

Unique Characteristics: Pectoral fins very long, reaching beyond anal-fin base to or almost to caudal-fin base. Pectoral branch of lateral line absent. Pelvic fins long, reaching well beyond anal-fin origin, inserted nearer to anal-fin origin than pectoral-fin insertion. Origin of anal fin 3 soft rays or more behind origin of dorsal fin. Dorsal fin 2-5 soft rays more than anal fin. Only the first pectoral-fin ray unbranched. Pelvic fins inserted much nearer to posterior head margin than origin of lower caudal-fin lobe. Both jaws of equal length, or lower jaw a little longer than upper jaw. Pectoral fins more densely pigmented, usually with paler transverse strip or basal triangle. Dorsal fin moderately low (longest soft ray usually more than 10 times in standard length), without black spot. Palatine teeth absent; jaw teeth minute (not conspiciuous to the touch). Pectoral fins greyish, with indefinite pale triangular crossband and narrow outer margin. Juveniles with paired, short chin barbels, their length more than 7 times in standard length. Head length 3.9-4.6, usually less than 4.3 in standard length. Predorsal scales 25-33, usually 27-30.

Similar Species:

Bandwing Flyingfish
Cheilopogon exsiliens

Margined Flyingfish
Cheilopogon cyanopterus

Bandwing Flyingfish Cheilopogon exsiliens. Pectoral fins very long, reaching beyond anal-fin base to or almost to caudal-fin base. Pectoral branch of lateral line absent. Pelvic fins long, reaching well beyond anal-fin origin, inserted nearer to anal-fin origin than pectoral-fin insertion. Origin of anal fin 3 soft rays or more behind origin of dorsal fin. Dorsal fin 2-5 soft rays more than anal fin. Only the first pectoral-fin ray unbranched. Pelvic fins inserted much nearer to posterior head margin than origin of lower caudal-fin lobe. Both jaws of equal length, or lower jaw a little longer than upper jaw. Pectoral fins more densely pigmented, usually with paler transverse strip or basal triangle. Dorsal fin moderately high (longest soft ray usually less than 10 times in standard length), bearing a prominent black spot. Palatine teeth present; jaw teeth noticeable (conspicuous to the touch). Predorsal scales 24-29. Pectoral fins black with a definite pale crossband. Lower caudal-fin lobe obviously darker than upper lobe. Juveniles with moderately long, paired, flat chin barbels, their length more than 2.5 times in standard length.

Margined Flyingfish Cheilopogon cyanopterus. Pectoral fins very long, reaching beyond anal-fin base to or almost to caudal-fin base. Pectoral branch of lateral line absent. Pelvic fins long, reaching well beyond anal-fin origin, inserted nearer to anal-fin origin than pectoral-fin insertion. Origin of anal fin 3 soft rays or more behind origin of dorsal fin. Dorsal fin 2-5 soft rays more than anal fin. Only the first pectoral-fin ray unbranched. Both jaws of equal length, or lower jaw a little longer than upper jaw. Pectoral fins more densely pigmented. Dorsal fin moderately high (longest soft ray usually less than 10 times in standard length), bearing a prominent black spot. Palatine teeth present; jaw teeth noticeable (conspicuous to the touch). Predorsal scales 33-41. Pectoral fins uniformly bluish black except for outer margin and lowermost soft rays. Both caudal-fin lobes equally pigmented. Juveniles with very long, paired chin barbels with fleshy axis, their length less than 1.7 times in standard length.

Spotfin Flyingfish
Cheilopogon furcatus

Blotchwing Flyingfish
Cheilopogon heterurus

Spotfin Flyingfish Cheilopogon furcatus. Pectoral fins very long, reaching beyond anal-fin base to or almost to caudal-fin base. Pectoral branch of lateral line absent. Pelvic fins long, reaching well beyond anal-fin origin, inserted nearer to anal-fin origin than pectoral-fin insertion. Origin of anal fin 3 soft rays or more behind origin of dorsal fin. Dorsal fin 2-5 soft rays more than anal fin. Only the first pectoral-fin ray unbranched. Pelvic fins inserted much nearer to posterior head margin than origin of lower caudal-fin lobe. Both jaws of equal length, or lower jaw a little longer than upper jaw. Pectoral fins more densely pigmented, usually with paler transverse strip or basal triangle. Dorsal fin moderately low (longest soft ray usually more than 10 times in standard length), without black spot. Palatine teeth absent; jaw teeth minute (not conspiciuous to the touch). Pectoral fin usually blackish, with definite pale crossband and broad outer margin. Juveniles with moderately long, paired chin barbels, their length less than 2.7 times in standard length.

Blotchwing Flyingfish Cheilopogon heterurus. Pectoral fins very long, reaching beyond anal-fin base to or almost to caudal-fin base. Pectoral branch of lateral line absent. Pelvic fins long, reaching well beyond anal-fin origin, inserted nearer to anal-fin origin than pectoral-fin insertion. Origin of anal fin 3 soft rays or more behind origin of dorsal fin. Dorsal fin 2-5 soft rays more than anal fin. Only the first pectoral-fin ray unbranched. Pelvic fins inserted much nearer to posterior head margin than origin of lower caudal-fin lobe. Both jaws of equal length, or lower jaw a little longer than upper jaw. Pectoral fins more densely pigmented, usually with paler transverse strip or basal triangle. Dorsal fin moderately low (longest soft ray usually more than 10 times in standard length), without black spot. Palatine teeth absent; jaw teeth minute (not conspiciuous to the touch). Pectoral fins greyish, with indefinite pale triangular crossband and narrow outer margin. Juveniles with paired short, chin barbels, their length more than 7 times in standard length. Head length 4.3-4.9, usually more than 4.5 in standard length. Predorsal scales 29-38, usually 30-35.

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