Hirundichthys affinis

Common Name

Fourwing Flyingfish

Year Described

G√ľnther, 1866


Dorsal Fin: 10-12
Anal Fin: 11-13
Pectoral Fin: 16-18
Gill Rakers: 24-30 (first arch)
Predorsal Scales: 26-33
Transverse Scale Rows: 5-7
Vertebrae: 45-47

Body elongate with a rectangular cross-section. Head length 4.0-4.3 in SL. Eye diameter 3.3-3.6 in HL. Jaw teeth conspicuous and conical. Lower and upper jaw almost equal in length. Palatine teeth absent. Pectoral fins long (1.4-1.6 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 low (longest ray more than 10 times in SL). Origin of anal fin slightly ahead of, equal with, or slightly behind (under 1st-2nd ray) 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 enlarged pelvic fins and no chin barbel(s).


Dark blue-gray above, abruptly paler below. Pectoral fins dark gray with a pale triangular crossband and posterior margin. Dorsal and caudal fin gray. Anal fin transparent. Pelvic fin pale. Juveniles with dark blotches on pectoral and pelvic fins.


Maximum size to 23cm SL.


Pelagic in neritic waters. Zooplanktivorous with demersal eggs.


Continental: Common in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Also found north in the Gulf Stream and south to 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.