The California flying fish (Accepted scientific names: Cypselurus californicus or Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus californicus) is a flying fish up to 18 inches (45 cm) in length, and up to 2 lbs (1 kg) in weight. It is the largest species of the flying fish family.
While it does not actually fly, it will swim up to 30 mph and launch itself into the air, using its specially adapted fins to glide for up to 1/4 mile. Its tail fins will vibrate to taxi along the surface.
(From Wikipedia, May 19th, 2010)
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Common names: flyingfish (English), volador (Espanol)
Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus californicus (Cooper, 1863)
Smallhead flyingfish, California flyingfish
Body relatively slender (depth < 16% of SL); head relatively short (< 22% of SL); snout short (~ eye diameter); mouth small, jaws ~ equal length, or lower a little longer, top one not protrusible; jaw teeth with 1 point, sometimes with smaller secondary points; sides of roof of mouth with teeth; fins without spines; 9-13 dorsal rays; 9-12 anal rays; pectoral reaches tail fin base, its 1st ray unbranched; pelvic origin nearer operculum than tail fin base, fin long, reaches nearly to end of anal fin base; anal origin under 3rd dorsal ray; tail deeply forked with a longer lower lobe; lateral line low on the body, no branch to origin of pectoral; scales large, smooth, easily shed; ~ 50 scales in front of dorsal fin; juveniles with 2 fused barbels under chin.
Blue-grey above, silvery below; dorsal with a large dark spot; pectorals dark grey with a wide clear border; remaining fins clear.
Size: reaches 48 cm.
Habitat: surface layers inshore and offshore.
Depth: 0-10 m.
Oregon to the tip of Baja California, the SW Gulf of California, also the Revillagigedos Islands.
(From EOL via www.neotropicalfishes.org)
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