Familia Nemichthyidae

(including Avocettinopsidae)

by J. G. Nielsen

Elongate midwater eels with jaws formed as a long, narrow beak with small posteriorly directed teeth; ripe males (and probably also females) lack prolonged beak and teeth. Dorsal, caudal and anal fins confluent; dorsal fin origin near pectoral fin base; anus far in advance of midbody. Lateral line complete.
Oceanic fishes caught pelagically between the surface and 2,000 m, but precise depth preferences are unknown. Have been seen (from submersibles) hanging vertically in the water. Seem to feed exclusively on crustaceans. Oviparous; degenerative changes in ripe specimens suggest that they spawn once and die.

Genera 3; in Clofnam area 2.

Recent revision: Nielsen and Smith (1978).

Note. Labichthys carinatus is not yet recorded from area, but occurs just to the west of it (35° N, 32° W).