Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: TRICHIURIDAE, Cutlassfishes, Hairtails

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body a long, compressed ribbon
D base very long
C: absent or tiny
lower jaw protrudes
strong teeth
pelvics (0-I, 0-1) very small/absent
A II, rays absent/reduced





Cutlass-fishes are large fishes (1-2 m) with thin ribbon-like bodies; 1 pair of nostrils; a large mouth with protruding lower jaw, with large fangs; dorsal and anal fins are extremely long-based and low, the anal sometimes reduced to a series of small projecting spines; pectoral fins 12, small, on mid to lower side; pelvic fins absent or represented by I tiny spine plus 0-1 tiny rays; tail fin small and forked, or absent; lateral line complete; no scales.

Trichiurids are voracious fish predators, occurring in all temperate and tropical seas. They live in deeper waters of the continental shelf and slope, although the species treated here is frequently caught by trawlers and fishers in relatively shallow inshore waters.

The family contains 42 species in 10 genera; one circumtropical species occurs in our region.