Yellow-fin flyingfish Cypselurus poecilopterus, from Day (1889).

Belongs within: Exocoetoidei.

The Exocoetidae, flyingfishes, are warm-water marine fishes characterised by extremely long pectoral fins used for gliding above the surface of the water.

Characters (from Collette 2002): Pectoral fins exceptionally long, wing-like; pelvic fins sometimes also enlarged; caudal fins very deeply forked, outer tips rounded, lower lobe longer. Mouth small. Scales large, rounded.

    |--Danichthys rondeletii (Valenciennes 1846) [=Exocoetus rondeletii, Cypselurus rondeletii]M58
    |--Dermatogenys viviparus (Peters 1865) [=Hemirhamphus (Dermatogenys) viviparus]JR10
    |--Rhamphexocoetus volans Bannikov et al. 1985P93
    |    |--O. argenteus (Bennett 1840)M58 (see below for synonymy)
    |    `--O. micropterus (Cuvier & Valenciennes 1846)W81, M58 [=Exocoetus micropterusM58]
    |    |--P. gibbifrons (Valenciennes 1846) [=Exocoetus gibbifrons; incl. Cypselurus zaca Seale 1935]M58
    |    `--P. rondeletiB96
    |--Fodiator acutusM58
    |    |--F. a. acutusM58
    |    `--F. a. rostratus (Günther 1866) [=Exocoetus rostratus, Parexocoetus rostratus]M58
    |    |--P. brachypterus (Richardson 1846) [=Exocoetus brachypterus; incl. E. brevipinnis Cuvier & Valenciennes 1846]M58
    |    |--P. mento Valenciennes 1847MM09 [=Exocoetus mentoM58]
    |    `--P. mesogasterMK00
    |--Exocoetus Linnaeus 1758L58
    |    |--*E. volitans Linnaeus 1758L58 [incl. E. evolans Cuvier & Valenciennes 1846M58, E. melanopus Günther 1909M58]
    |    |--E. longibarba DeVis 1884M58
    |    |--E. obtusirostrisB96
    |    `--E. unicolorO97
    |    |--H. affinis (Günther 1866) [=Exocoetus affinis]M58
    |    |--H. oxycephalus (Bleeker 1852) [=Exocoetus oxycephalus, Cypselurus oxycephalus]M58
    |    `--H. speculiger (Valenciennes 1846) (see below for synonymy)M58
    |    |--C. heterurus (Rafinesque 1810)LD09
    |    |--C. intermedius Parin 1961MM09
    |    |--C. melanurus (Valenciennes 1847)C02
    |    |--C. pinnatibarbatusND13
    |    `--C. spilopterus (Valenciennes 1847)MM09
    `--Cypselurus [=Cypsilurus (l. c.)]JR10
         |--C. altipinnisJR10
         |--C. arcticeps (Günther 1866) [=Exocoetus arcticeps]M58
         |--C. atrisignis Jenkins 1904M58
         |--C. bilobatus Weber & de Beaufort 1922M58
         |--C. brachysomusJR10
         |--C. californicusB96
         |--C. crockeri Seale 1935M58
         |--C. exsiliens (Linnaeus 1771) [=Exocoethus exsiliens; incl. C. nigricans Giltay 1933]M58
         |--C. hexagona (Bleeker 1853) [=Exocoetus hexagona]M58
         |--C. melanocercusG75
         |--C. naresii (Günther 1889) [=Exocoetus naresii]M58
         |--C. nigripennis (Valenciennes 1846) [=Exocoetus nigripennis]M58
         |--C. oligolepis (Bleeker 1866) [=Exocoetus oligolepis]M58
         |--C. opisthopus (Bleeker 1866) [=Exocoetus opisthopus]M58
         |--C. pinnatibarbatusB96
         |--C. poecilopterus (Valenciennes 1846) [=Exocoetus poecilopterus]M58
         |--C. simus (Valenciennes 1846) [=Exocoetus simus]M58
         |--c. spilonotopterusJR10
         `--C. spilurus (Günther 1866) [=Exocoetus spilurus]M58

Hirundichthys speculiger (Valenciennes 1846) [=Exocoetus speculiger, Cypselurus speculiger; incl. C. rubescens Herre 1931]M58

Oxyporhamphus argenteus (Bennett 1840) [=Exocoetus argenteus; incl. Hemirhamphus convexus Seale 1935, E. kuag Thiollière 1857]M58

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B96] Bond, C. E. 1996. Biology of Fishes 2nd ed. Saunders College Publishing: Fort Worth.

[C02] Collette, B. B. 2002. Flyingfishes. Family Exocoetidae. In: Collette, B. B., & G. Klein-MacPhee (eds) Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine 3rd ed. pp. 291–292. Smithsonian Institute Press: Washington.

[G75] Grant, E. M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. The Co-ordinator-General’s Department: Brisbane (Australia).

[JR10] Jordan, D. S., & R. E. Richardson. 1910. Check-list of the species of fishes known from the Philippine archipelago. Bureau of Printing: Manila.

[LD09] Li, B., A. Dettaï, C. Cruaud, A. Couloux, M. Desoutter-Meniger & G. Lecointre. 2009. RNF213, a new nuclear marker for acanthomorph phylogeny. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 50: 345–363.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[MK00] Machida, M., & T. Kuramochi. 2000. Digenean trematodes from halfbeaks and needlefishes of Japan and adjacent waters. Bulletin of the Natural Science Museum Series A (Zoology) 26: 203–218.

[MM09] Moore, G., & S. Morrison. 2009. Fishes of three North West Shelf atolls of Western Australia: Mermaid (Rowley Shoals), Scott and Seringapatam Reefs. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 77: 221–255.

[M58] Munro, I. S. R. 1958. The fishes of the New Guinea region: a check-list of the fishes of New Guinea incorporating records of species collected by the Fisheries Survey Vessel “Fairwind” during the years 1948 to 1950. Papua and New Guinea Agricultural Journal 10 (4): 97–369 (reprinted: 1958. Territory of Papua and New Guinea Fisheries Bulletin no. 1).

[ND13] Near, T. J., A. Dornburg, R. I. Eytan, B. P. Keck, W. L. Smith, K. L. Kuhn, J. A. Moore, S. A. Price, F. T. Burbrink, M. Friedman & P. C. Wainwright. 2013. Phylogeny and tempo of diversification in the superradiation of spiny-rayed fishes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 110 (31): 12738–12743.

[O97] Ogilby, J. D. 1897. On some Australian Eleotrinae. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 21 (4): 725–757.

[P93] Patterson, C. 1993. Osteichthyes: Teleostei. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 621–656. Chapman & Hall: London.

[W81] Watson, L. 1981. Sea Guide to Whales of the World. Hutchinson: London.

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