Cheilopogon nigricans   (Bennett,  1840) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: FAO

Max size: About 24 cm standard length.

Color: dark above, pale below, the dark color usually iridescent blue in life; dorsal fin with a prominent black spot; pectoral fins black with a pale margin, the central portion crossed by a yellow or greyish-yellow transverse stripe becoming narrower toward fin margin; pelvic fins usually with a prominent black spot.

Body elongate, thick, somewhat flattened ventrally. Head shorter than distance between dorsal fin origin and origin of upper caudal fin lobe; jaws of equal length; upper jaw not protrusible; lower jaw not included beneath the upper; palatine teeth on roof of mouth) present. Dorsal fin with 13 to 15 rays, anal fin with 8 to 11 rays; anal fin origin 5 to 7 rays behind origin of dorsal fin; dorsal fin low, rays at anterior end the longest; pectoral fins strikingly long, 67 to 73% of standard length, only the first ray unbranched; pelvic fins abdominal, large, reaching well beyond anal fin origin, their insertion closer to anal fin origin than to pectoral fin insertion and nearer to hind margin of head than to origin of lower caudal fin lobe. Pectoral branch of lateral line absent. Scale rows across back in front of dorsal fin (predorsal scales) 24 to 28. Juveniles with a pair of chin barbels, their length to about 35% of standard length, each bearing a small lateral flap.

Synonym (s)
Cypselurus nigricans (Bennett, 1840)
Exocaetus nigricans Bennett, 1840
Exocoetus nigricans Bennett, 1840

Common Name (s)
• African Flyingfish (English)
• Blacksail Flyingfish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial

Habitat:  Pelagic
Prey:  Planktonic copepods


• Arabian Sea (Lat: 18.96) (Long: 72) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 70 mts)

Literature Source(s)
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 2 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Balachandran, K and Nizar, MA (1990) A check list of fishes of the Exclusive Economic Zone of India collected during the research cruises of FORV Sagar Sampada Proceedings of the first workshop on scientific results of FORV Sagar Sampada CMFRI, Cochin 305-324 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-02-07

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