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Temporal range: 33–0 Ma Early Oligocene to Present[1]
Fistularia commersonii
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Syngnathiformes
Suborder: Aulostomoidei
Superfamily: Aulostomoidea
Family: Fistulariidae
Blainville, 1818
Genus: Fistularia
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Fistularia tabacaria
Linnaeus, 1758

See text.


The cornetfishes or flutemouths[3] are a small family, the Fistulariidae, of extremely elongated fishes in the order Syngnathiformes. The family consists of a single genus, Fistularia, with four species, found worldwide in tropical and subtropical marine environments.[4]

Ranging up to 2 m (6.6 ft) in length, cornetfishes are as thin and elongated as many eels, but are distinguished by very long snouts, distinct dorsal and anal fins, and forked caudal fins whose center rays form a lengthy filament. The lateral line is well-developed and extends onto the caudal filament.[5]

They generally live in coastal waters or on coral reefs, where they feed on small fishes, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.[5]

Cornetfish are of minor interest for fishing, and can be found in local markets within their range.[6]


Currently, four recognized species are placed in this genus:[7]


  1. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
  2. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). "Species in the genus Fistularia". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. ^ Fishes of Australia, FISTULARIIDAE Flutemouths Archived 2016-08-09 at the Wayback Machine (Museum Victoria)
  4. ^ Fritzsche, R.A. 1976. A review of the cornetfishes, genus Fistularia (Fistulariidae) with a discussion of intrageneric relationships and zoogeography. Bulletin of Marine Science 26(2): 196-204.
  5. ^ a b Orr, J.W.; Pietsch, T.W. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 170–171. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
  6. ^ "We find what looks like an alien species at a fish market so of course we make sashimi out of it". SoraNews24 -Japan News-. 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  7. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). Species of Fistularia in FishBase. October 2012 version.

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