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Species: Cheilopogon exsiliens, Bandwing Flyingfish

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D height > 10% SL, with black spot
pectorals black + pale cross-bar
C: lower lobe obviously darker
jaw teeth noticeable to touch
sides roof mouth with teeth
juvenile: barbels flat, < 40% SL
nape scales before D 24-29

Cheilopogon exsiliens (Linnaeus, 1771)

Bandwing Flyingfish

Body elongate, rectangular in cross section; mouth small, short, blunt; jaws equal; jaw teeth relatively large (noticeable to touch), conical; sides of roof of mouth with teeth; fins without spines; dorsal fin moderately high (>10% SL), 13-15 rays; 9-11 anal rays, origin of fin under 6th-9th dorsal ray; pectoral reaches past anal base, 1st ray unbranched; pelvic origin nearer operculum than base of tail fin, reaches just past anal base; tail deeply forked with a longer lower lobe; scales large, smooth, easily shed; 24-29 scales on nape in front of dorsal fin; lateral line low on the body, no branch of lateral line to origin of pectoral. Juveniles with enlarged dorsal fin, a pair of flap-like barbels under chin, <40% SL.

Dark above, pale below; dorsal fin grey with large black central spot; anal fin transparent; pectorals blue-black, with pale diagonal bar across fin; anal clear; tail fin with black lower lobe and clear upper lobe; pelvics greyish. Juvenile: body with faint bars; dorsal and paired fins partly pigmented; tail clear; barbells grey, with darker edges.

Size: 30 cm.

Habitat: surface pelagic, offshore.

Depth: 0-5 m.

Tropical and temperate Atlantic; from 40°N to ~25°S in the W Atlantic.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5