Flying Gurnard

The spotwing flying gurnard is a fascinating , beautiful and entertaining fish to watch. Black Frog Divers have several dive sites where you can see Spotwing Flying Gurnard.

It is an unusual looking fish, because of its large pectoral fins and the head and eyes are quite large, but the mouth is small. From a side the head looks a bit like a frog. It has dark spots and wavy lines on the fins. It has a grey or sometimes brown body that is covered with dark brown or black spots. The body has an “armor”, as the fish is covered with tough scales. This fish can grow up to 45cm in length. Spotwing flying gurnards are similar to the Sea Robins. Whether small or large, this fish is extremely strong.

The pectoral fins are not actually “wings” and it does not have the capability of flying, but it can use its “wings” to move through the water in quick, short, “flights”. When disturbed it spreads its “wings” increasing appearance in size as a threat to predators. These fins “wings” are quite colorful and  those of the Atlantic for example, are brightly spotted with blue. They also possess a swim bladder with two lobes and a “drumming muscle” that can produce sounds.

 Although the Spotwing Flying Gurnard does not fly, it can “walk” on the bottom by alternatively moving its pelvic fins and short pectoral fin rays. They have feeler-like leading rays and extensions from each fin.
This fish likes to inhabit areas of shallower waters with sandy bottoms. It walks along the bottom looking for food. They feed on small invertebrates, crustaceans, clams and small fishes.

Despite its name, the spotwing flying gurnard is not related to the flyingfish. It is not able to fly, or even to glide as the flyingfish do.

They are found in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean from England to Argentina.

If you would like to see that interesting sea creature, travel to Torrox Costa and we will make sure that you will admire it. It is normal for us to find it, lying on the sea bad of Fraggle Rock diving site.
We hope you enjoy that short article and please visit our blog regularly for more interesting articles.

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