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Family: HEMIRAMPHIDAE, Halfbeaks


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lower jaw v long, top jaw triangular
pectoral short/moderately long
scales large

FAMILY HEMIRAMPHIDAE

HALFBEAKS

Halfbeaks are elongate slender fishes that characteristically have the lower jaw extended into a long beak (except in a few species); upper jaw short and triangular; nostrils in a pit before the eye; no spines in fins; dorsal and anal fins at rear of body, with their bases about opposite one another; pelvic fins under rear of abdomen; pectoral fins high on sides, variable in length; tail fin forked or concave; lateral line low on the sides of body; scales large and smooth. Many of these features are shared with flyingfishes, to which halfbeaks are closely related.

Halfbeaks occur circumglobally, mainly in tropical and temperate seas; the family contains 13 genera and about 111 species; 10 species in 5 genera occur in our region.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER COLLETTE (2002)