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)