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Family: GEMPYLIDAE, Escolars, Oilfishes, Snake Mackerels


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

elongate/fusiform, compressed
2 Ds, D2 shorter base
sometimes finlets after D & A
C forked
lower jaw projects
strong teeth + fangs
pelvic I, 0-5
A I-III

FAMILY GEMPYLIDAE

SNAKE MACKERELS, OILFISHES, ESCOLARS

The escolars (25-300 cm) have fusiform to very elongate bodies; 2 pairs of nostrils; large mouths with strong teeth and a projecting lower jaw; two dorsal fins (VIII-X + 0-I, 17-44), 2nd with a shorter base than 1st; anal fin (0-III, 12-37) similar to and under 2nd dorsal; some species with finlets behind the dorsal and anal fins; pelvic fins small, often reduced to a single spine or absent; a forked tail; 1-2 lateral lines that end at the base of the tail fin.

This family, which contains 16 genera and 24 species, and is found worldwide in tropical to subtropical areas; 9 species in our area with 5 circumtropical species, each in a different genus, occuring in shallow water.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER PARIN (2002)