Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: CALLIONYMIDAE, Dragonets


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

large eyes on top broad, depressed head
D IV + 6-11
LL onto C
mouth small, top jaw protrusible
preopercle: large hooked spine
gill opening = pore on side
A 0, 4-10
no scales

FAMILY CALLIONYMIDAE

DRAGONETS

Dragonets are small fishes (to 30 cm) with elongate, somewhat depressed bodies; eyes large, on upper side of head; a small mouth that angles down when open, with a protrusible top jaw; a large spine on the preoperculum, but no spines on the operculum; gill opening a small pore high on the shoulder; two dorsal fins, IV (flexible spines) + 6-11; anal fin with 4-10 rays (no spines); pectorals large, rounded; pelvics insert under preopercular spine, large, reach past anal fin origin in males; tail fin long, with filaments in males; lateral line complete, extends onto tail fin; no scales.

The family, which is found in tropical and temperate seas worldwide, has 18 genera and 181 species. There are 5 species from 3 genera in our area, 2 NW Atlantic, 2 W Atlantic and 1 SW Atlantic.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER HARTEL (2002)