Flying Fishes


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Flying fishes are members of the Exocoetidae family. They are found in the tropical and temperate water of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Members of the family have wing-like pectoral fins, and unevenly forked tails, with the lower lobe longer than the upper lobe. In some species the pelvic fins also are enlarged. They also have flattened corneas that enable them to focus in and out of the water. The lower jaw of juvenile flying fishes has an extended filament longer than the body, which becomes detached as they grow.

Flying fishes live in large schools and feed on plankton. They are active at night and are attracted to light.

Flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of water into air, where their streamlined torpedo shape helps them gather enough underwater speed to break the surface, and their long, wing-like pectoral fins enable gliding flight above water surface. It is an uncommon natural defense mechanism to evade predators which include mackerel, tuna, swordfish, marlin, and other larger surface fishes.

There are 7 genera and about 70 species of Exocoetidae worldwide. Malaysia has 5 genera and about 15 species.

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Scientific Name: Cheilopogon intermedius  Parin, 1961
English Name: Intermediate Flyingfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 中间须唇飞鱼 (Zhōngjiān xū chún fēiyú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Terbang, Belalang, Terbang Pertengahan
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลานกกระจอก (Plā nkkracxk), ปลาบิน (Plā bin)
Main Identification Features: Pelvic fins long, reaching well beyond anal-fin origin, inserted nearer to anal-fin origin than to pectoral-fin insertion. Pelvic fins inserted about midway between head and origin of lower caudal-fin lobe. Both jaws of equal length, or lower jaw a little longer than upper jaw.
Size: Maximum standard length about 22 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Inshore and coastal pelagic, near surface. Feed on zooplankton and small fishes. Active at night and are attracted to light.












Scientific Name: Parexocoetus mento  (Valenciennes, 1847)
English Name: African Sailfin Flyingfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 黑短鳍拟飞鱼 (Hēi duǎn qí nǐ fēiyú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Terbang, Belalang, Terbang Sayap-layar Afrika
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลานกกระจอก (Plā nkkracxk), ปลาบิน (Plā bin)
Local Hokkien: Phuay Hu
Main Identification Features: Pectoral fins moderately long, not reaching beyond posterior part of anal-fin base. Pectoral branch of lateral line present. Longest dorsal-fin rays scarcely reaching origin of upper caudal-fin lobe.
Size: Maximum standard length about 10 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Inshore and coastal pelagic, near surface. Feed on zooplankton. Active at night and are attracted to light. Fluorescent orange at night.









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