Flagtails

© Johan Boshoff

Common family name

Flagtails

Scientific name

Kuhliidae

Size

Flagtails measure 20 cm on average but can be up to 50 cm in length.

Identification

Flagtails are small fish, their bodies flattened on either side. Its name derives from its tail fin which is slightly forked and marked in black and white. This fish is normally silver in colour. Its dorsal fins have a deep notch, and the dorsal and anal fins are surrounded by a scaly sheath.

General Info

Flagtails are a part of the Kuhliidae family which comprises of one genus and eight species. They occur in schools, and juveniles form their own small groups which can sometimes be seen in rock pools. Flagtails are found in shallow marine areas or in fresh water. They are pelagic spawners who feed at night.

Feeding

Flagtails feed on small, free-swimming crustaceans.

Distribution

They can be found in all tropical and temperate oceans across the world.

Common Species

Barred flagtail (Kuhlia mugil)
Flagtail (Prochilodus sp)

© Johan Boshoff