Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Beloniformes

Family: Exocoetidae

Genus: Exocoetus

Species: E. volitans

Physical Description

The Tropical Two-wing Flyingfish have elongated broadly cylindrical bodies. They are dark dorsally and silvery ventrally. Their fins are pale to slightly dusky. They have a short head with a short blunt snout and a small mouth without teeth. Their anal fin origin is under the third dorsal ray and has twelve to fifteen rays; their caudal fin is deeply forked with a longer lower lobe; their dorsal fin has thirteen to fifteen rays; and their pectoral fins are exceedingly long and reach the caudal fin base. Their pelvic fins are short and do not reach the anal fin base; their origin is closer to the pectoral fin base than the anal fin base. They have 32 to 37 gill rakers. Juveniles have a hump on their nape and no barbels. Their lateral line is low on the body. They are covered with large smooth scales. They reach a maximum length of 24.0 cm (9.4 inches).

Biology and Behavior

They have large pectoral fins and are capable of leaping and gliding considerable distances above the ocean surface. Feed mostly on crustaceans and other planktonic animals. Preyed upon by swordfish, tunas and many other larger pelagic fishes. They are Oviparous, with planktonic eggs and larvae.

Habitat and Distribution

The Tropical Two-wing Flyingfish are an oceanic pelagic species found on the surface to depths of 65 feet. Adults occur in surface waters, both near and far from the coast. In Mexican waters the Tropical Two-wing Flyingfish are found in all waters of the Atlantic. In the Pacific they have a limited distribution being found from Todos Santos southward along the southwest coast of Baja, and along the west coast of the mainland south to Guatemala, they are absent from the Sea of Cortez


Tropical Two-wing Flyingfish