The flying gurnard fish, scientific name Dactylopterus volitans, also called the helmet gurnard, is a bottom-dwelling fish of tropical to heat temperate waters on each side of the Atlantic Ocean.
On the American aspect, it’s discovered as far north as Massachusetts (exceptionally so far as Canada) and as far south as Argentina, together with the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
On the European and African sides, flying gurnard fish ranges from the English Channel to Angola, together with the Mediterranean.
Flying gurnard fish is the one species within the monotypic genus Dactylopterus. Comparable and associated species from the genus Dactyloptena are discovered within the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
The identify “gurnard” comes from the French phrase for “grunt”, which is apt because the fish are recognized to emit growling sounds by their swim bladder.
Nonetheless, flying gurnard fish does not really fly – though some sources declare they’ll glide above the floor for temporary stints utilizing their giant pectorals.
Though their conservation standing hasn’t been evaluated, flying gurnard fish is pretty ample, and never commercially fished, besides in Senegal (the place they’re bought underneath the identity “rooster”).
And don’t fear, regardless of being distant cousins of the lethal scorpionfish, there’s no venom current right here.
The big pectoral fins of the flying gurnard fish look harmful, and that’s the purpose! When threatened, these unbelievable fish fan them out to scare off predators.
The fins additionally turn out to be useful for “strolling” alongside the ocean flooring or poking around within the sand for meals.
The fish are sometimes adopted by two opportunistically feeding associates: the yellow jack and the coney, each algae eaters that profit from the flying gurnard’s behavior of churning up algae tufts.
This flying gurnard fish is variable in coloration, being brownish or greenish with reddish or yellowish patches.
When excited, the fish spreads its “wings”, that are semi-transparent, with a phosphorescent shiny blue coloration at their ideas.
The fish additionally has giant eyes. It reaches as much as 50 cm (20 in) in size and 1.eight kg (4.zero lb) in weight.
The weight loss program of the Flying Gurnard consists of small bottom-dwelling fish, black worms, shrimp (Mysis or brine), and different meaty meals.
The predominant weight loss program of the flying gurnard fish consists of small fish, bivalves, and crustaceans.