Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: PINGUIPEDIDAE, Sand Perches

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

elongate, cylindrical
head pointed
D IV-VII (short), 19-28
mouth large, protractile
gill membranes unite under but free from throat
operculum - stout spine





Body elongate, cylindrical at front, somewhat compressed at rear; head long, bluntly pointed; mouth large, horizontal to somewhat oblique, protractile; lips thick; upper jaw partly covered by bone under eye; jaws with bands of simple teeth, outer teeth enlarged, canines at front; center and, sometimes, sides of roof of mouth with teeth; gill membranes united below front of throat, free from throat; operculum with 1 stout spine; a single long, continuous dorsal fin with IV-VII short spines, 19-28 soft rays; anal fin similar to dorsal fin, but with shorter base, 17-25 rays, 1st  1-2 rays spine-like; pelvics I, 5, inserted under or slightly before pectoral base; scales small to moderate, rough, except smooth on cheeks; lateral line continuous.

This circumglobal family of tropical to temperate fishes contains ~ 54 species in 5 genera; 3 genera with 5 species are endemic to temperate S America, 1 of those species enters the southern fringe of our area.