Atlantic flyingfish

Flying fish were flushed frequently during this pelagic birdiing trip. I had fun standing on the bowsprit with my camera, trying to get a few snapshots. They burst out unpredictably near the bow and were in the air for just a second or two. This was the best I could get of one in flight. Note the elongated lower lobe of the caudal (tail) fin--clearly helps during takeoff--see adjacent photos in the photostream.

Looking at images of flying fish I see on the web, and at one print reference (Robins and Ray, Field Guide to Atlantic Coast Fishes), I believe this is an Atlantic Flyingfish, Cheilopogon melanurus. This paper says it is the most abundant flying fish collected off of North Carolina, and that it is large--I remember the ones I saw as being quite hefty. The image on that page looks close in coloration and fin shape. I'm thinking that looks good, so will add the tags to indicate the ID.

 

Links:

-Wikipedia: Flying fish

-Fishbase: Exocetidae, Cheilopogon melanurus

-enature: Atlantic Flyingfish

-Wikimedia Commons: image of Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus

 

Cheilopogon_melanurusPCCA20070623-3956A1

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Taken on June 23, 2007