Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Genus: Psenes, Driftfish, Driftfishes, Fat Heads

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body deep, oval
tongue no teeth
D: 2 parts, origin before/over pectoral base
top head: narrow band scales to between eyes



Body usually deep (> 40% of SL), more so in juveniles, compressed; eye large to moderate, with a fatty ring around it; operculum thin, with 2 short spines; mouth small, at front; jaw teeth small, usually conical (sometimes with small secondary points), in 1 row; teeth on front and sides of roof of mouth, and base of gill arches, none on tongue; 2 scarcely separate dorsal fins, 1st with ~ X spines, its origin before, or, in large specimens, over pectoral origin; anal fin II weak spines, 17-30; bases of dorsal and anal fins translucent; pectoral fins long and wing-like, with oblique bases; pelvic fins originate under pectoral base, attached to the abdomen, fold into a groove; tail fin deeply forked; branched mucous canal along flank; scales small to minute, very thin, cover bases of median fins, on top of head in a narrow band, reach only to between eyes; lateral line high on side.

The genus occurs worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters; 5 species, with 3 circumtropical species in our area.