Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus

Common Name

Bennett's Flyingfish

Year Described

Bennett, 1831


Dorsal Fin: 12-14
Anal Fin: 10-12
Pectoral Fin: 14-16
Gill Rakers: 19-24 (first arch)
Predorsal Scales: 39-47 (usually 42-44)

Body elongate with a rectangular cross-section. Lower jaw slightly longer than upper. Palatine teeth absent. Pectoral fins long with first ray unbranched, fin reaching to caudal fin base. Pelvic fins long, reaching well beyond anal fin origin, with pelvic origin nearer to anal fin than pectoral fin base. Dorsal fin relatively low (longest ray more than 10 times in SL). Origin of anal fin well behind that of dorsal fin. Caudal fin forked with the lower lobe longer than upper. Lateral line low on side. Pectoral branch of lateral line absent. Juveniles with a single fringed barbel and expanded pelvic fins.


Body dark blue above, abruptly pale below. Pectoral fin gray with pale posterior margin and sometimes an indistinct crossband. Dorsal fin gray, sometimes with a black blotch. Anal fin pale. Pelvic fin pale. Caudal fin uniform gray.


Maximum size to 38cm SL.


Pelagic in neritic waters. Zooplanktivorous.


Rare: infrequently taken off the Brazilian coast. Records from elsewhere in the region need confirmation but should be expected.


Júnior, J. G., M. F. Nóbrega, & J. E. L. Oliveira. 2015. Coastal fishes of Rio Grande do Norte, northeastern Brazil, with new records. Check List, 11(3): 1-24

Whitehead, P.J.P. , M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J.G. Nielsen and E. Tortonese. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I-III. UNESCO. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

Other Notes

Another rare species, Cheilopogon nigricans, may be encountered as rare vagrants well offshore of Brazil around the oceanic islands.