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Pterotrachea coronata attains the largest size (to 330 mm) among the Pterotracheidae and has the most streamlined body shape. The proboscis is long and pointed, terminating in a small buccal mass. The trunk is long and slender, with ventro-lateral folds of cutis anterior to the swimming fin that form a concave bib. The visceral mass is long and slender (the highest length to width ratio in the genus), and the basal part of its length is deeply imbedded in the posterior end of the trunk. The tail is large and laterally flattened, creating a broad surface area that aids in burst swimming, attributable to strong side-to-side flexion of the trunk and tail. During burst swimming, the proboscis is tucked into a ventral groove in the anterior one-half of the trunk created by the ventro-lateral folds of cutis. When viewed dorsally the eyes have a rectangular shape with a retinal base somewhat wider than the lens; shape similar to that in P. scutata. A small fin sucker is located on the mid-ventral surface of the swimming fin in males only. The geographical distribution is cosmopolitan in tropical to subtropical waters.

Brief Diagnosis:

A species in the genus Pterotrachea with the following characteristics:

  • The most streamlined body among the pterotracheids
  • Proboscis slender and elongate, terminating in a small buccal mass
  • During burst swimming, proboscis is tucked into the ventral groove formed by the ventro-lateral folds of cutis
  • Eyes rectangular in dorsal view, with the retinal base somewhat wider than the lens
  • Swimming fin sucker only in males
  • Burst swimming is the result of side-to-side body flexion, involving the long, narrow trunk and the large, laterally flattened tail


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