PORT PHILLIP BAY


Rondelet's Flyingfish 

Hirundichthys rondeletii (Valenciennes, 1847)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: 9-13
Anal fin spines/rays: 12-13
Caudal fin rays: 15
Pectoral fin rays: 17-20
Ventral fin spines/rays: 6
Lateral line: about 50

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other mersitics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Long, silvery, streamlined surface-dwelling fishes. Species within the group have a variety of jaw lengths and shapes, and during development, many species go through a half-beak stage where the lower jaw is elongated. The single dorsal fin and the anal fin are usually far back on the body and the pelvic fins are abdominal. All lack fin spines and the lateral line runs along the lower surface of the body.
Most species are counter-shaded to avoid being seen by predators and prey. They are usually dark greenish to bluish above and silvery white on the sides and belly, sometimes with a dusky or darker stripe along their sides.

Family level detail.
Small to medium-sized pelagic fishes with a blunt snout, greatly elongate, wing-like pectoral fins, a large pelvic fins, a single short-based dorsal fin set far back on the body and a forked tail with a long lower lobe.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Beloniformes
Family:
Exocoetidae
Genus:
Hirundichthys
Species:
rondeletii

General Description

Pectoral fins very large, reaching tail base; dorsal and anal fins similar; pelvic fins large, reaching end of anal fin, all but 1st and 2nd rays of pectoral fin branched in adults. Dark blue above, silvery below, pectoral fins black with narrow white hind margin; pelvic fins transparent with black central area. To 25 cm.

Biology

This is the most frequently encountered flyingfish in cooler oceans, and is usually collected when individuals glide onto boat decks or are washed ashore. These flying fishes escape predators by launching themselves from the water, using their pectoral and pelvic fins to glide for up to 50 m.

Habitat

Subtropical and warm temperate seas, usually in surface waters.

Open water

Distribution guide

Circumglobal. Rare in Victoria.

Species Group

Fishes Flyingfishes

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

25 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Rondelet's Flyingfish, Hirundichthys rondeletii, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 15 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6286

Text: creative commons cc by licence