|Hawaiian flagtail (K. sandvicensis)|
D. S. Jordan & Evermann, 1896
T. N. Gill, 1861
G. Cuvier, 1828
The flagtails (āhole or āholehole in the Hawaiian language) are a family (Kuhliidae) of perciform fish of the Indo-Pacific area. The family consists of several species in one genus, Kuhlia. Most are euryhaline and often found in brackish water, but the genus also includes species restricted to marine or fresh water.
Several species are known as Hawaiian flagtails, particularly K. sandvicensis and K. xenura.
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The distinctive characteristic of these fish is a scaly sheath around the dorsal and anal fins. The dorsal fin is deeply notched between the 10 spines and the 9 to 13 soft rays. The opercle has two spines, and the anal fin three. Their bodies are compressed and silvery, and they tend to be small, growing to 50 cm at most.
During the day, they usually school, dispersing at night to feed on free-swimming fish and crustaceans.
The currently recognized species in this genus are:
- Kuhlia malo (Valenciennes, 1831)
- Kuhlia marginata (G. Cuvier, 1829) (spotted or dark-margined flagtail)
- Kuhlia mugil (J. R. Forster, 1801) (barred flagtail)
- Kuhlia munda (De Vis, 1884) (silver flagtail)
- Kuhlia nutabunda Kendall & Radcliffe, 1912 (Rapanui flagtail)
- Kuhlia petiti L. P. Schultz, 1943
- Kuhlia rubens (Spinola, 1807)
- Kuhlia rupestris (Lacépède, 1802) (rock flagtail, jungle perch)
- Kuhlia salelea L. P. Schultz, 1943
- Kuhlia sandvicensis (Steindachner, 1876) (Hawaiian flagtail)
- Kuhlia sauvagii Regan, 1913
- Kuhlia xenura (D. S. Jordan & C. H. Gilbert, 1882)
- Mary Kawena Pukui and Elbert (2003). "lookup of āholehole". on Hawaiian dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Mary Kawena Pukui and Elbert (2003). "lookup of āhole". on Hawaiian dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii. Retrieved July 9, 2010.