Helmut Gurnard (Dactyloptena orientalis)

Also known as Brown Flying Gurnard, Common Helmut Gurnard, Flying Fish, Grunt Fish, Indo-Pacific Flying Gurnard, Oriental Flying Gurnard, Oriental Gurnard, Oriental Helmut Gurnard, Oriental Sea Robin, Purple Flying Gurnard, Sea Robin

Description

Also known as Brown Flying Gurnard, Common Helmut Gurnard, Flying Fish, Grunt Fish, Indo-Pacific Flying Gurnard, Oriental Flying Gurnard, Oriental Gurnard, Oriental Helmut Gurnard, Oriental Sea Robin, Purple Flying Gurnard, Sea Robin.

Found singly, blending in with their surroundings, close to the bottom, in coastal waters.
They feed on clams, crustaceans, and small fish.
Length - 38cm
Depth - 1-100m
Widespread Indo-Pacific

The Flying Gurnard has huge, round Pectoral fins. The fins are usually held against the body, but when threatened they can expand their wings (fins) to scare off a predator.
The pelvic fins act like legs as the fish walks along the bottom of the ocean. They also grunt. French term for the word Gurnard means to grunt. Ref: https://www.fishbase.se/summary/Dactyloptena-orientalis.html

4 comments

  1. Posted by Sheri
    March 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm - 1 person found this useful.

    Saw one in the Ko"Olina Lagoon on Oahu. Very fun to watch him use his front two little fins to move along the bottom and move the sand looking for food. When we got too close he would spread out his pectoral wings which were darker grey. Very fun to watch!

  2. Posted by captainlongo
    August 14, 2011 at 06:39 am - 1 person found this useful.

    Saw one in Tobago Cays. Very cool! Thanks whatsthatfish.com for helping me ID the fish. As a divemaster, I'm going to start sending guests and friends here. Cheers!

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