Tallfin Flyingfish, Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus (Bennett 1831)

Other Names: Barbeled Flying Fish, Bennett's Flyingfish, Great Flying Fish, Great Flying-fish, Larger Flying Fish, Larger Flyingfish, Smallhead Flyingfish, Tallfin Flying Fish, White-banded Flying-fish

A Tallfin Flyingfish, Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus, off the northern tip of New Zealand, February 2020. Source: Bert Filemyr / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A large flyingfish with uniformly coloured pectoral and pelvic fins, a large dark spot on dorsal fin, and a black caudal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3721

Tallfin Flyingfish, Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus (Bennett 1831)

More Info


Almost circum-Australian: from the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, to Port Kembla, New South Wales, and Port Lincoln, South Australia, around Western Australia, to the Darwin, Northern Territory. Elsewhere the species is circumglobal in tropical and temperate seas.


Feeds on zooplankton and small fishes.


The Australasian form is recognised as distinct subspecies Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus melanocerus.


The specific name pinnatibarbatus is from the Latin pinnatus (= winged), in reference to the wing-like pectoral fins, and barbatus (= bearded), in reference to the fringed barbel on the chin (of juveniles).

Species Citation

Exocoetus pinnatibarbatus Bennett 1831, Proceedings of the Committee of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London 1830-31 (pt 1): 146. Type locality: Atlantic coast of northern Africa


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Tallfin Flyingfish, Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus (Bennett 1831)


Bennett, E.T. 1831. Characters of new genera and species of fishes of the Atlantic coast of northern Africa presented by Capt. Belcher. Proceedings of the Committee of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London 1: 145-148 See ref at BHL

Carpenter, K.E., Livingstone, S. & Polidoro, B. 2010. Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T155104A4708020. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T155104A4708020.en. Accessed on 02 October 2022.

Gomon, M.F. 1994. Families Exocoetidae, Hemiramphidae, Scomberesocidae. pp. 383-393 figs 343-351 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. 

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Exocoetidae. pp. 402-405 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. 

Günther, A. 1866. Catalogue of the Fishes of the British Museum. Catalogue of the Physostomi, containing the families Salmonidae, Percopsidae, Galaxidae, Mormyridae, Gymnarchidae, Esocidae, Umbridae, Scombresocidae, Cyprinodontidae, in the collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 6 368 pp. (described as Exocoetus robustus, type locality Western Australia)

Ogilby, J.D. 1885. Notes and descriptions of some rare Port Jackson fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 10(1): 119-123 (described as Exocoetus melanocercus, type locality Middle Harbour, Port Jackson, New South Wales)

Parin, N.V. 1973. Family Exocoetidae. pp. 263-267 in Hureau, J.-C. & Monod, T. (eds). Checklist of the Fishes of the North-Eastern Atlantic and of the Mediterranean (CLOFNAM). Paris : UNESCO Vol. 1 683 pp. (Australian form as Cheilopogon pinnatibarbatus melanocercus)

Prokop, F. 2002. Australian Fish Guide. Croydon South, Victoria : Australian Fishing Network 256 pp.

Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. 2015. Family Exocoetidae. pp. 954-964 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152. 

Whitley, G.P. 1940. Illustrations of some Australian fishes. Australian Zoologist 9(4): 397–428 figs 1–45 pl. 30

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37233008

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Habitat:Pelagic, oceanic, inshore

Max Size:40 cm SL

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