Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Cheilopogon xenopterus, Sparrow flyingfish, Whitetip flyingfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D 12-13, margin - large black blotch
pectoral past A base, dark + clear bar & clear margin
C: black, tips clear
pelvic black + clear edge
pelvic long, origin nearer operculum, black + clear border

Cheilopogon xenopterus (Gilbert, 1890)

Whitetip flyingfish, Sparrow flyingfish

Elongate, broadly cylindrical body; head short; snout short; 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; 12-13 dorsal rays; 9-10 anal rays; pectoral reaches past anal base, its 1st  ray unbranched; pelvic origin nearer operculum than base of tail fin, fin long, reaches well onto anal base; 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; 24-30 scales in front of dorsal fin; juveniles with 2 fused barbels under chin.
Black above, abrupt transition to silver below; dorsal fin grey with large dark spot on outer margin; pectorals silvery black, with clear margin and clear transverse bar across inner half; pelvics black, with clear margin around entire fin; tail fin black, tips clear; anal clear.
Size: 22 cm.
Habitat: oceanic and coastal.
Depth: surface, 0-5 m.
Central and eastern Pacific; the tip of Baja and the mouth of the Gulf of California to Peru, and all the oceanic islands.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore Only
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Planktivore
  • No Data
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • Pacific only (East + Central &/or West)
  • Central + East Pacific (but not West)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 22
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5