Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: CARAPIDAE, Pearlfishes


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

very elongate, tapering to filamentous tail
D rays shorter than A rays
D, A & C continuous
no pelvics
A origin under pectoral

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FAMILY CARAPIDAE

PEARLFISHES

Pearlfishes are very elongate, the body tapering to a slender, pointed tail; top jaw teeth either fangs, or small and short, in bands; 1-several teeth on roof of mouth; the dorsal and anal fins lack spines and are confluent around the tail; anal fin rays longer than dorsal fin rays opposite them; the anus and anal fin origin are far forward, usually under pectoral fin; pelvic fins are lacking (in neotropical genera); pectoral fins either very small, 13-30, or absent.

Pearlfishes inhabit tropical and subtropical areas in Atlantic and Indo-Pacific oceans; the family has 32 species in seven genera. There are two west Atlantic species in two genera our area.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER OLNEY (2002)