Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: CYNOGLOSSIDAE, Tonguefishes


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

elongate, tapering to pointed tail
eyes (v small) left side
D, A & C fused
skin covers preoperculum
eye-side pelvic only, joins A
no pectorals
no LL

FAMILY CYNOGLOSSIDAE

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)