Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Cheilopogon heterurus, Blotchwing Flyingfish, Mediterranean Flyingfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head < 22%
D height < 10% SL, no black
pectoral grey + pale triangular cross-bar & narrow clear edge
jaw teeth not noticeable
sides roof mouth: no teeth
scales along center nape 30-35

Cheilopogon heterurus (Rafinesque, 1810)

Blotchwing Flyingfish, Mediterranean Flyingfish

Body elongate, rectangular in cross section; mouth small, short, blunt, lower jaw slightly longer than top jaw; head length usually >22% SL; jaw teeth minute, not noticeable to touch, conical; sides of roof of mouth without teeth; fins without spines; dorsal fin low (height <10% SL), 12-15 rays; 8-10 anal rays, origin of fin under 5th-7th 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; 29-38 (usually 30-35) scales along nape in front of dorsal fin; lateral line low on the body, no branch of lateral line to origin of pectoral. Juveniles with a pair of short barbels under chin consisting of a stalk with a skin fold along the outside.

Dark above, pale below; dorsal and tail fins grey; anal fin transparent; pectorals light to dark grayish, with indistinct pale triangular cross bar and narrow clear rear margin; pelvics greyish. Juvenile: body with 3 dark bars on front of body; dorsal and anal fins with dark marks; pectorals and pelvics with dark blotches and curved bars.

Size: 45 cm.

Habitat: surface pelagic, offshore.

Depth: 0-5 m.

Mainly in the E Atlantic and Mediterranean; Bermuda.

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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
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 45
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5