Flying Fish

Category: Sea Life

There are approximately 64 species of flying fish. These fish got their name due to their ability to fly above water to avoid predators. The flying fish is also known as the sailfin flying fish.

Flying Fish

Flying Fish

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Actinopterygii

Order - Beloniformes

Family - Exocoetidae (64 species in 7 genera)

Common Names - Flying Fish, Flyingfish


There are approximately 64 species of flying fish. This fish can fly above the water for up to 45 seconds at a time. The flying fish can be found in all oceans of the world, although it prefers warm and tropical waters. This fish has large pectoral fins that enable it to leap out of the water and fly above the surface for a few seconds. The flying fish will move its tail back and forth at up to 70 times per second to propel itself through the air. Some species of flying fish have one pair of fins while others have two pairs of fins. The body is sleek and streamlined to aid in quicker movement in both the water and the air. The flying fish eats mostly plankton. Dolphins, tuna, marlins, birds and porpoises see the flying fish as a delicacy. The flying fish was also studied in the early 1900s, when designers were building airplanes.


The flying fish breeds by laying eggs. The female fish guards the eggs until they hatch. Once hatched, baby flying fish are integrated into the school of adult fish.


The flying fish lives in large schools with other flying fish. This fish is able to fly above water for considerable distances in an attempt to avoid predators. Experts have stated that the flying fish can fly for up to 45 seconds in one flight. This skill may also be useful when hunting for dinner.


The flying fish has been in existence for at least 66 million years but was first documented in 1814.

Present status

The flying fish is not on any endangered or threatened species lists at this time.