Home > Fishes > Flagtails > Kuhlia xenura

Updated 3/29/2018

Family Kuhliidae


Kuhlia xenura   

Pupukea Firehouse, Oahu, 3 feet

Sharks Cove, Oahu, 20 feet


Hanauma Bay, Oahu, 5 feet

Makapu'u tidepool, Oahu

Juvenile, Makapu'u tidepool, Oahu


Palea Point, Oahu, 20 feet


Cargo Pier, Midway Atoll, 25 feet

Sharks Cove, Oahu, 4 feet

Kanewai Spring, Kuli'ou'ou, Oahu


Locally common as aggregations in shallow rocky areas exposed to wave action.  Juveniles are seasonally common in tidepools, brackish estuaries, and fishponds.  Feeds upon zooplankton and worms.  Silver with scattered orange or brown spots, large elliptical eyes, tail with a dark trailing edge.  Attains 11.5 inches.  Endemic to Hawai'i.

Until 2001 this fish was known as Kuhlia sandwicensis, another valid Indo-Pacific species that was described in Hawai'i but mistaken for Kuhlia marginata, a valid freshwater species not found in Hawai'i.  Kuhlia sandwicensis is rare in Hawai'i and is best distinguished by having small round eyes, a deep silver body without spots, and prominent wavy lines on the forehead.