Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: Girellidae, Opaleyes

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D: XII-XIV, 12-15
teeth: movable, tips flat & with 1-3 points
center roof of mouth no teeth



Body oval, moderately compressed; head blunt, short; mouth small, square, lips thick, opens at the front; when mouth is close the top jawbone slips partially under the under-eye bone; teeth incisiform, bases set horizontally in mouth, with curved, hockey-stick shape, outer band of large movable teeth with flattened, 1-3 pointed tips; no teeth on central roof of mouth; dorsal fin continuous, XII-XIV spines that fold down into a scaly groove, 10-21 rays; spines on fins short, thick; tail blunt, straight to slightly concave; paired fins are relatively short; origin of the pelvics behind the base of the pectoral fin; scales small, thick and rough, covering the body, head (except the snout) and soft portions of the median fins.

A subtropical to temperate family with 2 genera and 21 species found in the western Pacific, eastern Indian Ocean and eastern Atlantic as well as the eastern Pacific; 3 members of this genus are endemic to our region and adjacent shores.