Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Genus: Benthodesmus, Frostfish Scabbardfish, Frostfishes

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no nape crest
D XXXI-XLVI, 68-112, notched, spiny part ~1/2 soft part
C small, forked
pelvics tiny I,1



Body extremely elongate and compressed; upper head profile rises smoothly from tip of snout to origin of dorsal fin; nape without a central, longitudinal crest; lower rear edge of gill cover convex; lower jaw projecting; tips of both jaws with a short skin knob in large fish; jaws with front fangs and slightly compressed side teeth; roof of mouth with 1 row of teeth on each side, none in center; gill rakers on first arch spiny; dorsal fin with long base, XXXI – XLVI, 68 -112, partially divided by a shallow notch, base of spinous part about ½ length of base of soft part; anal fin II (close-set, 1st rudimentary, not visible in adults, 2nd comb-like, delicate, well forwards of rest of fin), 64 – 102, rays vary from all developed to only on rear part of fin; pectorals 12; pelvic fins minute, with a scale-like spine & a rudimentary soft ray; tail fin small, forked.

Worldwide in temperate and tropical oceans; 11 named species; two in the Greater Caribbean, one in the eastern Pacific