Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Genus: Aphanopus, Scabbardfish, Scabbardfishes

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no nape crest
D 90-109 elements, spiny part slightly < soft part, notch between spines & rays
C small, forked
pelvics: absent in adults, I tiny spine in juveniles



Body elongate, compressed; head top profile smooth, gently rising from snout to dorsal fin, without crest on top; top of head between eyes and on nape flat; lower jaw projecting; jaws with front fangs, and triangular teeth on sides; roof of mouth with no teeth in center, a few teeth in a single row on sides; gill rakers spiny; dorsal fin XXXVIII-XLV, 52-65, 90-109 elements, with a deep notch between spines and rays; anal fin with II close-set spines well before rest of fin, the 1st small, imbedded in adult, the 2nd strong, dagger-like, 43-54 soft rays; pectorals 12, top rays shorter; pelvics absent in adults, juveniles with 1 spine inserted before pectoral base; tail fin present, small, forked; lateral line slowly descends from top of gill opening to mid-side; body coppery black; inside mouth and gill chamber black.

A worldwide genus with 4 species, 2 in our area.