Family: EPHIPPIDAE, Spadefishes
Spadefishes have deep, ovate, compressed bodies; head short; mouth small, opens at front; jaws with bands of brush-like teeth; no teeth on roof of mouth; preopercle finely serrated; dorsal fin continuous, IX, 21-28, spiny part low, front of soft dorsal and anal elongate; anal fin III, 16-24; pectorals short; pelvics long, under pectorals; tail fin slightly concave; lateral line complete; scales cover body, head and most fins, 40-50 on lateral line; young frequently with black bars.
The family is worldwide except for the central Pacific, with 8 genera and 15 species. In our region there is one W Atlantic member of one New World/E Atlantic genus.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER BURGESS (2002)