Creature Feature – Tropical Two-wing Flyingfish
This week’s featured creature is the Tropical Two-wing Flyingfish.
Whilst flying fishes are named because of their grace in the air – they do not fly in the sense of flapping their fins, instead their fins allow them to glide in the air after breaking the surface of the water due to swimming at high speed!
Scientific Name: Exocoetus volitans
Tropical Two-wing Flyingfish Fact File
Size: Individuals can measure up to 30cm long and weigh up to 450g
Distribution: An open ocean (epipelagic) species, they can be found in tropical and subtropical zones of all oceans
Diet: This species feeds primarily on plankton, crustaceans, and other small invertebrates
Behaviour: Unlike larger filter feeders e.g., the basking shark, tropical two-wing flyingfish have excellent eyesight and can hunt and eat individual plankton! Unlike some other species of flyingfishes that attach their eggs to floating objects, this species reproduces via broadcast spawning – several females release their eggs and several males release their sperm into the surface water at the same time
IUCN Status: Least Concern. Whilst their conservation status has not been updated recently, the species is common, with a large geographic range, and is not targeted by large-scale, commercial fisheries