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.



-Wikipedia: Flying fish

-Fishbase: Exocetidae, Cheilopogon melanurus

-enature: Atlantic Flyingfish

-Wikimedia Commons: image of Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus



  • NJEphotography 8y

    wow, this is the coolest picture ever!!!! thanks for sharing...brings back memories from when i was a kid, seeing these fish at a lake with my grandfather..
  • Lori Hale Williams 8y

    i don't know what kind of flying fish it is, but this is a great shot!
  • Philip Witt 8y

    Great shot. I can imagine how difficult it was to get it.
  • Niall McAuley 8y

    I remember watching flying fish break from the water near the boat's prow, off Madeira. It was all so fast, I'm surprised you got such a clear photo!

    Well done.
  • Jim Gilbert 8y

    Excellent. They're fast indeed.
  • Will Stuart 8y

    So this is what inspired the Wright brothers! Great capture!!
  • Joshua Lambus 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Pelagic Underwater Wilderness, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • pterantula 7y

    nice catch - they usually move too fast for me!...
  • Anthony Gomez 6y

    That is amazing. Good capture! I bet that was a little nerve racking.
  • EncyclopediaOfLife 3y

    Encyclopedia of Life curator Dana Campbell has trusted your image on the EOL site
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Taken on June 23, 2007
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