Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: STROMATEIDAE, Harvestfishes, Butterfishes

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head many pores
eye with fatty ring
1 D, similar to A: III short spines, long base, front rays elevated
small mouth
no pelvics
scales small, smooth



Stromateids are small fishes (20-30 cm) with a relatively deep, very compressed bodies that have similar upper and lower profiles; a short, blunt snout; a fatty ring around the eye; a small mouth, ends at most under front edge of eye; jaw teeth small, in 1 row, no teeth on roof of mouth; long-based single dorsal and anal fins are ~ symmetrical, in both fins usually I-IV, > 30 rays, front rays of both similarly elongated to varying degrees; pectoral fins long and pointed; tail base very short, without keels; deeply forked tail fin; no pelvic fins; small smooth, easily dislodged scales; lateral line high, follows upper body profile; dorsal and anal fins covered with scales.

Butterfishes frequent continental shorelines of North and South America, West Africa, and southern Asia. The family contains about 16 species in three genera; three species (all endemics) in two genera occur in our region.