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Species: Parexocoetus hillianus, Atlantic Sailfin Flyingfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

top jaw protractile
pectoral not reaching past A base
pelvic reaches A origin
branch of LL to pectoral base
juvenile: 2 chin barbels

Parexocoetus hillianus (Gosse, 1851)

Atlantic Sailfin Flyingfish

Elongate, broadly cylindrical body; head short, snout short and blunt; mouth small, short, blunt, upper jaw protrusible, small conical teeth; fins without spines; dorsal fin very high, 9-14 rays; anal 10-14 rays, origin before 2nd dorsal ray; pectoral fin moderate length, reaching to middle rays of dorsal fin, only 1st ray unbranched, 11-13 rays; pelvic fin short, barely reaching anal origin, inserted nearer operculum than tail fin base; tail deeply forked with a longer lower lobe; scales large, smooth, easily shed; lateral line low on the body, with a branch to origin of pectoral. Juveniles with paired chin barbells (easily lost).

Dark, iridescent green-blue above, silvery white below; dorsal fin clear, with large black blotch at outer tip; all other fins transparent. Juvenile: dorsal, pelvics and anal fins with black pigment.

Size: 15.5 cm.

Habitat: inshore and offshore, pelagic.

Depth: surface, 0-20 m.

Atlantic; 40N to 10S.

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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 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
  • 15.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 20