Family: STROMATEIDAE, Butterfishes, Harvestfishes
Stromateids are small fishes (20-30 cm) with a relatively deep, very compressed bodies that have similar upper and lower profiles; a short, blunt snout; a fatty ring around the eye; a small mouth, ends at most under front edge of eye; jaw teeth small, in 1 row, no teeth on roof of mouth; long-based single dorsal and anal fins are ~ symmetrical, in both fins usually I-IV, > 30 rays, front rays of both similarly elongated to varying degrees; pectoral fins long and pointed; tail base very short, without keels; deeply forked tail fin; no pelvic fins; small smooth, easily dislodged scales; lateral line high, follows upper body profile; dorsal and anal fins covered with scales.
Butterfishes frequent continental shorelines of North and South America, West Africa, and southern Asia. The family contains about 16 species in three genera; 3 species (1 endemics, 1 W Atlantic and 1 NW Atlantic) in 1 genus occur in our region.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER HAEDRICH (2002)