Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes
(Needle fishes) > Exocoetidae
Etymology: Exocoetus: Greek, exos = outside + Greek, koite = hole (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 20 m. Subtropical; 44°N - 36°S, 180°W - 180°E
Widespread in tropical and subtropical zones of all oceans including the western Mediterranean Sea and part of the Caribbean Sea (Ref. 3720), probably absent in the inland seas of southeastern Asia (Sulawesi Sea, Sulu Sea, Flores, Banda, Ceram and Halmahera seas (Ref. 27313)), and the Benguela Current (Ref. 4498). Eastern Pacific: Mexico to central Chile; also the Galapagos and Hawaii. Western Pacific: Japan, Marshall Islands, Philippines, Australia (Ref. 5530), and Tahiti.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9987); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)
Adults occur in surface waters, both near and far from the coast (Ref. 5217). Form schools. Capable of leaping out of the water and gliding for long distances above the surface. Feed mostly on crustaceans and other planktonic animals. Preyed upon by swordfish, tunas and many other larger pelagic fishes (Ref. 9987). Oviparous, with planktonic eggs and larvae (Ref. 36606).
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. 118484)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 23.2 - 29.2, mean 27.9 °C (based on 4828 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00417 (0.00160 - 0.01085), 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
): 3.0 ±0.09 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 (17 of 100) .