Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Genus: Ophidion, Cusk-eel, Cusk-eels

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout: spine (if present) sharp
head scaleless
pelvic = 2 filaments under eye
scales: elongate, in oblique rows



Elongate, compressed; head compressed; snout either without a spine or with a weak spine or a small, slender spine projecting towards tip of snout; front nostril halfway between top lip and rear nostril; operculum with a strong, skin covered spine at its upper corner; tail fin continuous with dorsal and anal; dorsal fin < 150 rays; pelvic fins (each with 2 thread-like rays of unequal length) inserted under or slightly before eye; scales smooth, elongate, not overlapping, at right angles rather than regular series, none on head; lateral line along most of body.

A tropical to temperate genus found in the Atlantic, W Indian Ocean and eastern Pacific, with 27 species; represented in our region by 11 species, 10 of them in shallow water: 7 endemic, 1 W Atlantic and 2 NW Atlantic.