Cheilopogon exsiliens

Common Name

Bandwing Flyingfish

Year Described

Linnaeus, 1771


Dorsal Fin: 13-15
Anal Fin: 9-11
Pectoral Fin: 14-15
Gill Rakers: 23-28 (first arch)
Predorsal Scales: 24-29
Transverse Scale Rows: 6-7.5
Vertebrae: 43-45

Body elongate with a rectangular cross-section. Head length 3.8-4.2 in SL. Eye diameter 3.1-3.5 in HL. Jaw teeth conspicuous and unicuspid. Lower jaw slightly longer than upper. Palatine teeth present. Pectoral fins long (1.3-1.5 in SL) with first ray unbranched, fin reaching to caudal fin base. Pelvic fins long (2.8-3.8 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 6-9th 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 enlarged flap-like barbels (lost at 10-12cm SL) and expanded dorsal/pelvic fins.


Dark blue above, abruptly paler below. Pectoral fin dark blue-black with a pale transverse band. Dorsal fin pale with a large dark blotch on central part of fin. Anal fin transparent. Pelvic fin pale with dark pigment distally. Caudal fin bicolored; lower lobe dark and upper lobe light. Juveniles with faint bars, dark pigment on fins, and grey barbels with dark margins.


Maximum size to 24cm SL.


Pelagic over deep waters. Planktivorous with pelagic eggs.


Oceanic: Gulf Stream to the Gulf of Mexico, and the open Atlantic to Brazil. Rarely in the Caribbean Sea.


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.