Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Beloniformes
(Needle fishes) > Exocoetidae
Etymology: Hirundichthys: latin, hirundo = swift; 1300 + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335); indicus: Named for its occurrence in the Indian Ocean.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; pelagic-oceanic; depth range 0 - ? m. Tropical
Indian Ocean: widely distributed in the ocean, preferring waters of the open ocean. Not found in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, the waters of the west coast of Australia, and apparently, does not enter into the eastern part of the Arabian Sea and the northern Bay of Bengal. Two subspecies differ in pelvic fin coloration in adults:
Hirundichthys indicus indicus distributed on the waters of the western and central parts (from the west coast of Africa to the meridian of 96° E, and from 15° S to the northern Arabian Sea, the southern parts of the Bay of Bengal (but does not enter the coastal waters, only at its outlet) and the Andaman Sea; not found in the eastern part of Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf).
Hirundichthys indicus orientalis distributed on the waters of the eastern parts - from the 100° E meridian, early stages of development seemingly can be transported by the Southern Equatorial Current westward up to 90° E.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 19.2 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 93339)
Morphology | Morphometrics
H. indicus indicus differs from H. indicus orientalis by the absence of a dark spot on the ventral fins in specimens larger than 15.1 cm (usually the spot is absent already in fishes larger than 13.5 cm), as well as by having some less number of predorsal scales: 26-35 (modally 28-30) (Ref. 93339).
Caught in surface waters over the depths 390-7219 m, usually 2000-6000 m (mean 4129 m) (Ref. 93339). Juveniles of this species under 10.0 cm SL were caught in all seasons, indicating a year-round spawning of this species, with a highly pronounced peak in the summer and autumn months. Mature fishes appear at 16.0 cm SL or more (Ref. 93339).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Shakhovskoy, I.B. and N.V. Parin, 2013. A review of flying fishes of the subgenus Hirundichthys (genus Hirundichthys, Exocoetidae). 1. Oceanic species: H. speculiger, H. indicus sp. nova. J. Ichthyol. 53(2):117-145. (Ref. 93339)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 1.2 - 2.1, mean 1.6 (based on 4530 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5002 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00427 (0.00161 - 0.01131), b=3.12 (2.88 - 3.36), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.0 ±0.1 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (12 of 100) .