Dactyloptena orientalis   (Cuvier,  1829) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Mya Than Tun

Size: Max length 40.0 cm TL (male/unsexed); common length 20.0 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Color: Pale violet or purplish above, slightly lighter below. Dorsal pale brownish, second dorsal and caudal pale with dusky markings, anal hyaline, pectoral pale to light brownish with brown blotches.

Body robust, elongate. Head blunt, completely bony with strong spines and keels. A bony ridge across cheek to preopercle. Head 3.5-4.0, depth of body 5.0-6.3, both in standard length. Eye diameter 3.0-3.5 in head, about equal to snout and about 1.5 in concave interorbital space. Maxillary reaching to below anterior half of eye. Preopercular spine as long as head without snout. First ray on occiput isolated with a short posterior membrane, its length almost equal to head including preopercular spine. Second isolated ray above base of pectoral fin, longer than eye diameter and with well developed membrane. A short strong spine between first and second dorsal. Pectoral fin almost reaching to tip of caudal fin; upper six rays much shorter than longest rays, membrane between fifth and sixth, and sixth and seventh rays deeply incised.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: I+I+V+I+8; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: 6; number of rays in the pectoral fin: 32-35; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 4-5; number of scale rows along the midside of body from the upper corner of operculum to the midbase of caudal fin in the absence of lateral line: 45-47; number of horizontal scale rows usually counted from origin of the dorsal fin to the lateral line and from anal origin to the lateral line: 21-22.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Cephalacanthus spinarella (non Linnaeus, 1758)
(Misapplied name)
Corystion orientale (Cuvier, 1829)
(Senior synonym)
Corystion orientalis (Cuvier, 1829)
(Senior synonym)
Corystion volitans (non Linnaeus, 1758)
(Misapplied name)
Dactylopterna orientalis Rajan et.al., 1993
Dactylopterus cheirophthalmus Bleeker, 1854
(Junior synonym)
Dactylopterus japonicus Bleeker, 1854
(Junior synonym)
Dactylopterus orientalis Cuvier, 1829
(Senior synonym)
Ebisinus procne Ogilby, 1910
(Junior synonym)
Dactylopterum orientalis Cuvier, 1829
Dactyloptena orientalis Smith, 1949
Dactylopterus orientalis Day, 1878
Dactylopterus orientalis Schlegel, 1843
Dactylopterus orientalis Bleeker, 1852
Dactylopterus orientalis Gunther, 1860
Dactylopterus orientalis Jouan, 1861
Corystion orientale Bleeker, 1863
Dactylopterus orientalis Day, 1876
Dactylopterus orientalis Gunther, 1876
Dactylopterus orientalis Macleary, 1881
Cephalacanthus orientalis Jordan and Snyder, 1905
Cephalacanthus orientalis Jordan and Evermann, 1905
Dactyloptena orientalis Jordan and Richardson, 1908
Dactylopterus orientalis M. Weber, 1913
Ebisinus cheirophthalmus Fowler and Bean, 1922
Dactyloptena orientalis Jordan and Jordan, 1925
Dactyloptena orientalis E. K. Jordan, 1925
Dactyloptena orientalis Barnard, 1927
Dactyloptena orientalis Whitley, 1929
Dactyloptena orientalis Fowler, 1938
Dactyloptena orientalis J. L. B. Smith, 1950
Dactyloptena orientalis Koumans, 1953
Dactyloptena orientalis Munro, 1955

Common Name (s)
• Brown Flying Gurnard (English)
• Common Helmet Gurnard (English)
• Helmet Gurnard (English)
• Oriental Flying Gurnard (English)
• Purple Flying Gurnard (English)
• Sea Robin (English)
• Flying Gurnard (English)
• Oriental Flying Gurnad
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium)

Habitat:  Benthic, Reef Associated, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Crustaceans, clams, and small fish
Predator:  Aprion virescens


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Arabian Sea (Lat: 12.43) (Long: 74.93) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 75 mts)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Rutland Island INDIA
• Off South West Coast INDIA (Record: 01/1962-12/1968) (Depth: 75-179 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Karnataka, Karwar INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Off Visakhapatnam (Lat: 17.73) (Long: 83.55) INDIA (Record: 04/1989-03/1990) (Depth: 50 mts)

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at - http://www.reefindia.org/
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at - http://www.itis.gov.
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/ index/
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Kuo, RS and Shao, KT (1999) Species composition of fish in the coastal zones of the Tsengwen estuary, with descriptions of five new records from Taiwan Zoological Studies 38(4) 391-404 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Michel, P; Francis, M; Yves, C; Vincent, L; Richard, S; Olivier, M and Menard, F (2007) Forage fauna in the diet of three large pelagic fishes (lancetfish, swordfish and yellowfin tuna) in the Western equatorial Indian Ocean Science Direct (Fisheries Research) 83 60-72 Available at - NCL Information Division
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Tun, MT (2001) Marine fishes of Myanmar (pelagic and demersal) U Than Tun, Director-General, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Myanmar 276 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at - http://tnenvis.nic.in
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Beaufort, LF and Briggs, JC (1962) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Pataudi House, Daryaganj, New Delhi 11 481 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents
  • Bijukumar, A and Deepthi, GR (2009) Mean trophic index of fish fauna associated with trawl bycatch of Kerala, southwest coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 51(2) 145 - 154 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/5269/1/43.pdf
  • Rajan, PT; Rao, DV; Devi, K and Dey, S (1993) New records of rare fishes from Andaman Islands Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 9(1&2) 103-106 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Silas, EG (1969) Part-1 Exploratory otter trawling surveys by R.V. Varuna and other vessels operating in association with her from the continental shelf edge and the upper continental slope off the south-west coast of India Exploratory fishing by R.V. Varuna Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 12 7-51 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/657/2/Bulletin_No_12_1.pdf
  • Varghese, M; Manisseri, MK; Ramamurthy, N; Geetha, PM; Thomas, VJ and Gandhi, A (2011) Coral reef fishes of Gulf of Mannar, S.E of India Fishing Chimes CMFRI 31(1) 38-40 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf
  • Sujatha, K (1995) Finfish constituents of trawl by-catch off Visakhapatnam Fishery Technology Society of Fisheries Technologists 32(1) 56-60 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-12-30

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