Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: CALLIONYMIDAE, Dragonets

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

large eyes on top pointed head
LL extends onto C
gill opening = small pore on side
preopercle: large hooked spine
no scales





Dragonets are small fishes (to 30 cm) with elongate, somewhat depressed bodies; eyes large, on upper side of head; a small mouth that angles down when open, with a protrusible top jaw; a large spine on the preoperculum, but no spines on the operculum; gill opening a small pore high on the shoulder; two dorsal fins, IV (flexible spines) + 6-11; anal fin with 4-10 rays (no spines); pectorals large, rounded; pelvics insert under preopercular spine, large, reach past anal fin origin in males; tail fin long, with filaments in males; lateral line complete, extends onto tail fin; no scales.

The family, which is found in tropical and temperate seas worldwide, has 18 genera and 181 species. There is a single endemic species in the eastern Pacific.