Familia Sphyraenidae


by A. Ben-Tuvia

Medium to large fishes (to 1.6 m in Clofnam area), with elongate, slightly compressed bodies. Head large; jaws elongate, lower jaw projecting conspicuously; mouth cleft large, horizontal; strong, canine-like teeth in jaws and on palatines, none on vomer. No spines or serrated edges on opercular bones. Two dorsal fins, widely separated, first dorsal fin with 5 spines, second dorsal fin with 1 spine and 9 soft rays; anal fin with 2 spines and 8 soft rays, base below second dorsal fin; caudal fin forked. Scales small, cycloid; clearly visible lateral line extending beyond base of caudal fin.
Large species mostly pelagic, single or in schools; small species in the water column, often near bottom. Carnivorous, feeding mostly on fishes. Exploited commercially by various gears including trawl.

Genera 1.

Recent revisions: Smith (1956), Cadenat (1964), De Silva (1973, 1981), Tortonese (1975).