Family: CYNOGLOSSIDAE, Tonguefish, Tonguefishes
Tongue soles are small flat-fishes (to 48 cm but usually < 20 cm); body elongate oval, tapering to a pointed tail; eyes small, close-set, on left side of the body; mouth small, curved, asymmetrical; margin of preoperculum concealed by skin and scales; dorsal and anal fins confluent with the pointed caudal fin; only left pelvic fin present, 4 rays, on body midline, joined to anal fin by delicate membrane; pectoral fins absent, (represented by a fine membrane in Symphurus); no lateral line.
The family contains three genera and approximately 134 species. In our region there are 17 shallow-water species (5 Greater Caribbean endemics, 6 NW Atlantic and 6 W Atlantic of one worldwide tropical to temperate genus.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER MUNROE (2002)