Flying Gurnard (Dactylopterus Volitans)

Latin name: Dactylopterus volitans
Common name: Flying gurnard
In other languages: E: Golondrina, F: Grondin Volant, D: Flughahn
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Dactylopteriformes
Family: Dactylopteridae
Genus: Dactylopterus

Distribution: Found throughout the Mediterranean.

Reproduction: Breeds between May and July.

Behaviour: Benthic species that rises to the surface for some unknown reason from time to time; like the flying fish it leaves the water and glides just above the surface with fins spread.

Habitat: Ranges on sandy seabed from 10 metres down to 50 metres and beyond.

Diet: Crustaceans and molluscs.

Shape: Long prepercular spine; large wing-like pectoral fins.

Size: Common: 15 - 30cm, maximum: 50cm.

Colour: Grey-ish brown; red pink-ish head; When spread out the striking blue markings on the outer third of these wing-like pectoral fins transform what was hitherto a dull fish into a beauty to behold.

Did you know: They are almost invisible on the seabed, many a diver has been unpleasantly surprised as they unsuspectingly swim over one of these fish, only to surprise the fish and have it in turn spread its fins to escape.