Cheilopogon cyanopterus

Common Name

Margined Flyingfish

Year Described

Valenciennes, 1847


Dorsal Fin: 12-14
Anal Fin: 9-11
Pectoral Fin: 13-15
Gill Rakers: 21-28 (first arch)
Predorsal Scales: 33-41
Transverse Scale Rows: 7.5-9
Vertebrae: 43-46

Body elongate with a rectangular cross-section. Head length 5.4-5.7 in SL. Eye diameter 3.3-3.6 in HL. Jaw teeth conspicuous, conical, and slightly curved. Lower jaw slightly longer than upper. Palatine teeth present. Pectoral fins long (1.4-1.5 in SL) with first ray unbranched, fin reaching to caudal fin base. Pelvic fins long (3.3-3.8 in SL), reaching well beyond anal fin origin, with pelvic origin nearer to anal fin than pectoral fin base. Dorsal fin rather high (longest ray less than 10 times in SL). Origin of anal fin well behind that of dorsal fin (under 5-7th dorsal ray). Caudal fin forked with the lower lobe longer than upper. Lateral line low on side. Pectoral branch of lateral line absent. Juveniles with greatly elongated barbels (lost at 19-20cm SL) and dorsal/pelvic fins.


Dark blue above, abruptly pale below. Pectoral fin bluish-black with a pale posterior margin and lower margin. Dorsal fin pale with a large dark blotch in the center of the fin. Anal fin pale. Pelvic fin transparent. Caudal fin dark blue to black. Juveniles with a black dorsal fin and light barbels with dark folds.


Maximum size to 33cm SL.


Pelagic in neritic waters. Planktivorous with demersal eggs.


Offshore tropical and subtropical waters from the Gulf Stream to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and off Brazil.


Parin, N.V. 2002. Exocoetidae (pp 1116-1134). In: Carpenter. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 2: Bony fishes part 1 (Acipenseridae-Grammatidae). FAO Species Identification Guides for Fisheries Purposes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5.