Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes
(Needle fishes) > Exocoetidae
Etymology: Cheilopogon: Greek, cheilos = lip + Greek, pogon = barbed, beard (Ref. 45335). More on author: Mitchill.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 20 m. Tropical; 46°N - 42°S, 180°E - 180°W
Widespread in tropical zones of all oceans. Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA to southern South America (Ref. 7251). Eastern Atlantic: equator eastward to 8°W, Cape Verde. Northwest Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951). Indian Ocean: widely distributed but absent from the Red Sea, northern Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf (Ref. 3395). Western Pacific: absent in inland waters of southeast Asia (Ref. 9839). Eastern Central Pacific. The distinction between Cheilopogon antoncichi and Cheilopogon unicolor awaits clarification.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)
soft rays: 9 - 11. Body dark iridescent blue above, silvery white below; pectorals dark grey, with a broad pale margin crossed by a pale stripe becoming narrower toward anterior fin margin; pelvic fins pale (Ref. 2797). Juveniles up to 10-19 cm SL with dark bars on body and variegated paired fins (Ref. 2797).
Occurs in surface waters of the open ocean (Ref. 30573). Capable of leaping out of the water and gliding for considerable distances above the surface (Ref. 30573). Feeds on zooplankton and small fish (Ref. 9839).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Parin, N.V., 1996. On the species composition of flying fishes (Exocoetidae) in the West-Central part of tropical Pacific. J. Ichthyol. 36(5):357-364. (Ref. 27313)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 20.1 - 28.5, mean 26.2 °C (based on 48395 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00427 (0.00164 - 0.01111), b=3.12 (2.89 - 3.35), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.65 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (19 of 100) .