Family: ELEOTRIDAE, Gudgeons, Sleepers
Sleepers are small to medium sized fishes (most < 20 cm, maximum ~ 60 cm) that are close relatives of gobies (Gobiidae), that have an elongate, stout body; a short broad head; snout blunt; gill membranes broadly joined to throat, with 6 rays; mouth oblique, large, opens at front or up; teeth small conical, in several rows on jaws; two separate dorsal fins, VI-VII weak spines + I, 6-12, base of 2nd dorsal < distance from the end of that base to tail fin; anal fin origin behind origin of 2nd dorsal fin, I, 6-12; pelvics I, 5, long, completely separated, bases close together or united; scales large, smooth to rough, head scaled; no lateral line, but canals and pores on head.
Worldwide there is about 164 species of sleepers in 36 genera, most of which are found in the Indo-Pacific region. In our region there are 8 species (1 endemic, 1 SW Atlantic and 6 W Atlantic) from 6 genera that commonly occur in estuarine or marine habitats.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER MURDY (2002)