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Kuhlia sandvicensis.jpg
Hawaiian flagtail (K. sandvicensis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Kuhliidae
D. S. Jordan & Evermann, 1896
Genus: Kuhlia
T. N. Gill, 1861
Type species
Perca ciliata
G. Cuvier, 1828
  • Boulengerina Fowler, 1907
  • Herops De Vis, 1884
  • Moronopsis T. N. Gill, 1863
  • Paradules Bleeker, 1863
  • Platysome E. Liénard, 1832
  • Safole D. S. Jordan, 1912

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.


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:[1]

A school of young Kuhlia caudavittata.



  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Kuhlia in FishBase. August 2013 version.