Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Cheilopogon papilio, Butterfly flyingfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D 9-10, grey
pectoral passes A base, black, clear margin & tip
pelvic: long, origin nearer C base, black, 1st & last rays & tip clear

Cheilopogon papilio (Clark, 1936)

Butterfly flyingfish

Elongate, broadly cylindrical body; head short; snout short and blunt; mouth small, jaws ~ equal length, or lower a little longer, top one not protrusible; jaw teeth with 1 point, sometimes with smaller secondary points; sides of roof of mouth with teeth; fins without spines; 9-10 dorsal rays; 9-10 anal rays; pectoral reaches past anal base, its 1st  ray unbranched; pelvic origin nearer base of tail fin than operculum, fin long, reaches past anal origin; anal origin under 3rd dorsal ray; tail deeply forked with a longer lower lobe; lateral line low on the body, no branch to origin of pectoral; scales large, smooth, easily shed;  juveniles with 2 fused barbels under chin.

Color: adults with pectorals black except for clear narrow margin and tip; pelvics black except for tip and first and last rays; tail and dorsal fin grey; anal transparent. Juvenile: with black chin barbels and black dorsal fin.

Size: 22.2 cm.

Habitat: pelagic.

Depth: surface, 0-20 m.

The lower ½ of the Gulf of California, Costa Rica and Panama, the Revillagigedos.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • In & Offshore
  • Offshore
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Planktivore
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Bony fishes
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 22.2
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 20