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Species: Cheilopogon melanurus, Atlantic Flyingfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head > 23% SL
D height < 10% SL, no black
pectoral grey + indistinct pale triangular cross-bar & narrow clear edge
jaw teeth not noticeable
sides roof mouth: no teeth
scales along center nape 27-30

Cheilopogon melanurus (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1847)

Atlantic Flyingfish

Body elongate, rectangular in cross section; head length >23% SL; mouth small, short, blunt, lower jaw slightly longer than top jaw; jaw teeth minute, not noticeable to touch, conical; sides of roof of mouth without teeth; lower jaw a little longer; fins without spines; dorsal fin low, height <10% SL, 12-14 rays; pectoral reaches past anal base, 1st ray unbranched; pelvic origin nearer operculum than base of tail fin, fin reaches just past anal base; 7-11 anal rays, origin of fin under 5th-7th dorsal ray; tail deeply forked with a longer lower lobe; scales large, smooth, easily shed; 25-33 (usually 27-30) 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 greyish, with indistinct pale triangular cross bar and narrow clear rear margin; anal clear; pelvics clear. Juvenile: body with 6 dark bars; dorsal and anal fins with dark marks; pectorals and pelvics with dark blotches and bars.

Size: 33 cm.

Habitat: surface pelagic, inshore and offshore.

Depth: 0-5 m.

E&W Atlantic from 40N to 30S.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
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
  • 33
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5