EXOCOETUS : FLYING FISH
CLASSIFICATION OF FLYING FISH : EXOCOETUS
Phylum :- CHORDATA ( Notochord and dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill-slits present).
Group :- CRANIATA ( Cranium with brain present ).
Subphylum :- VERTEBRATA (Vertebral column present ).
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present ).
Super class :- PISCES (Paired fins , gills and skin with scales)
Class :- OSTEICHTHYES ( Bony fishes ).
SUB-CLASS :- ACTINOPTYERGII ( Ray finned fish ).
SUPER ORDER :- TELEOISTEI ( Bony fish proper).
Order :- SYNENTOGNATBI (Flying fish, Drosal fin above anal. Pectorals high on body).
GENUS :- Exocoetus
- Distributed in tropical and warmer Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.
HABIT AND HABITAT
- Exocoetus is found in sea, often skittering near the boats. It is pelagic and feeding on prawns and young fishes and their eggs. Small fishes live in sandy shoal-places near the coast.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF FLYING FISH : EXOCOETUS
- Commonly known as flying fish.
- Elongated body with silvery white sides measures 30 to 45 cm in length and divided into head, trunk and tail.
- Body covered with overlapping cycloid scales (usually 38 to 60 in lateral line).
- Head contains large eyes. The upper part of snout is produced into a process and contains nostril.
- Mouth opening is small but teeth in both jaws.
- Lower pharyngeals unite as a single bone. Lateral line and operculum present.
- Dorsal and anal fins are short and supported by 8 to 16 soft fin-rays each and are opposite to each pelvic fin.
- Pectoral fins are exceptionally large, spread like wings and make gliding flights.
- Ventral fin well developed and adapted to life the body. The caudal is bilobed. Lower lobe larger than upper lobe. By powerful stroke of the caudal fin the fish is able to leave water with force.
- Tail is hypoblastic. Oviparous.
The flying fish also serves as food.
Exocoetus is not a true flying fish. Specially in warm seas, it emerges to glide over the water. Pectorals act as wings. It also leaves water to escape from larger fishes, such as Tunas and Mackerels. The fish can glide over the surface of the water for about 400 metres.
This fish has large pectoral fins and above features, hence it is Exocoetus.
- Book of Practical Zoology VERTEBRATE by S.S.LAL – Rastogi Publications.
- SOURCES OF IMAGES – https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/flying-fish?phrase=flying%20fish&sort=best