Flying gurnard

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Flying gurnard
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Dactylopteridae
Genus: Dactylopterus
Lacépède, 1801
Species: D. volitans
Binomial name
Dactylopterus volitans
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Callionymus pelagicus Rafinesque, 1818
Cephalacanthus spinarella (Linnaeus, 1758)
Cephalacanthus volitans (Linnaeus, 1758)
Dactilopterus volitans (Linnaeus, 1758)
Dactylopterus blochii Swainson, 1839
Dactylopterus communis Owen, 1853
Dactylopterus fasciatus Swainson, 1839
Dactylopterus occidentalis Swainson, 1839
Dactylopterus spinarella (Linnaeus, 1758)
Dactylopterus tentaculatus Swainson, 1839
Dactylopterus vulgaris Steindachner, 1867
Gasterosteus spinarella Linnaeus, 1758
Gonocephalus macrocephalus Gronow, 1854
Polynemus sexradiatus Mitchill, 1818
Trigla fasciata Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Trigla volitans Linnaeus, 1758

The flying gurnard, or helmet gurnard, (Dactylopterus volitans) is a fish of tropical to warm temperate waters on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. On the American side, it is found as far north as Massachusetts (exceptionally as far as Canada) and south as Argentina, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.[1] On the European and African side, it ranges from the English Channel to Angola, including the Mediterranean Sea.[1] Similar and related species from the genus Dactyloptena are found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

When excited, the fish spreads its "wings", which are semi-transparent but tipped with a beautiful and phosphorescent bright blue coloration (designed to scare away predators; not gliding in the air like the fins of flying fish). The fish also has large eyes. It reaches up to 50 cm (20 in) in length and 1.8 kg (4.0 lb) in weight.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Dactylopterus volitans" in FishBase. Dec 2007 version.

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