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Genus: Aluterus, Leatherjackets, Filefishes


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D1: II spines, 1st long, slender, smooth, erectile
no pelvic fin rudiment

ALUTERUS

FILEFISHES, LEATHERJACKETS

Body a very compressed, elongated oval; a long pointed snout; a small mouth that opens above center line; teeth moderately strong, six in outer row on top jaw and six or less on outer row on bottom jaw; gill opening a short slit on side before pectoral base; 2 dorsal fins, 1st with II spines, 1st long, slender, smooth, over eye, erectile, can be locked in position by minute 2nd spine; soft dorsal and anal 43-53 rays; median fin rays unbranched; pelvic fin rudiment absent, no scales encasing area where pelvics should be; scales minute, innumerable, equipped with small hairs, cover skin and give it a coarse texture like sand-paper; no patch of enlarged scales above pectoral base; lateral line inconspicuous.

A circumtropical genus with 4 species; 2 circumtropical species and 2 W Atlantic species occur in our region.