Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Parexocoetus brachypterus brachypterus, Sailfin flyingfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

top jaw protractile
D black blotch, long rays
pectoral not past A base, clear
C reddish
pelvics short, origin near A, grey

Parexocoetus brachypterus brachypterus (Richardson, 1846)

Sailfin flyingfish

Elongate, broadly cylindrical body; head short, snout short and blunt; mouth small, upper jaw protrusible, jaw teeth small, conical; fins without spines; dorsal 12-14 rays, long fin rays; anal 12-14 rays; pectoral moderately long, not reaching past anal base, 1st  2 rays unbranched , 11-12 branched rays; pelvic fin short, barely reaching anal origin; anal origin before 2nd  dorsal ray; tail deeply forked with a longer lower lobe; lateral line low on the body, with a branch to origin of pectoral; scales large, smooth, easily shed; 23-30 scale rows; 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; pelvics grey; other fins clear except tail with red cast.

Size: 20 cm.

Habitat: coastal pelagic.

Depth: surface, 0-20 m.

An Indo-Pacific subspecies of a circumtropical species; Central Mexico to Ecuador.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
  • In & Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Water column only
  • Surface
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Planktivore
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • No Data
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 20