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Family: DACTYLOPTERIDAE, Flying Gurnards


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head in bony shield
preopercle long spine
pectoral = large wing

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FAMILY DACTYLOPTERIDAE

FLYING GURNARDS

Moderately elongate; body squarish, tapering behind; head blunt, its top and sides in a bony shield; mouth small, on underside of head; jaws with a band of small, nodular teeth; lower corner of preopercle with a long spine, with a serrated keel; 2 dorsal fins, front 2 spines adjacent to each other, connected only by a basal membrane; pectoral fin with horizontal base, 6 short rays above, 26-30 long rays in a greatly enlarged fan that reaches tail fin base of adults; tail fin slightly concave, with 2 sharp keels at its base; scales hard, bony, with sharp keels.

Indo-central Pacific and Atlantic, with 2 genera and 7 species; one West Atlantic species in the Greater Caribbean.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER SMITH-VANIZ (2002)