Juvenile needlefish schooling at sunset

Needlefish and flying fish

Needlefish, flying fish and three other families of fish together make up the order Beloniformes. There are 191 species in the order, the vast majority of which live in the sea. Most of them are fast swimmers.

Scientific name: Beloniformes

Rank: Order

Explore this group

Flying fish Flying fish
Flying fish actually glide rather than truly fly. They launch themselves into the air by beating the tail very fast and spreading their pectoral fins to use as wings.


The following habitats are found across the Needlefish and flying fish distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Adapted to swimming Adapted to swimming
Adaptations for swimming enables animals to move around in water. Animals that can swim proficiently (natatorial) fall into three categories.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Bony fish
  5. Ray-finned fishes
  6. Needlefish and flying fish

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