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Malacanthidae
TILEFISHES
Whitefishes

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Caulolatilus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Caulolatilus
Caulolatilus affinis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Caulolatilus affinis

Malacanthus
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Malacanthus
Malacanthus brevirostris
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Malacanthus brevirostris

Caulolatilus hubbsi
www.fao.org Copyright Michel Lamboeuf · 0
Caulolatilus hubbsi
Caulolatilus princeps
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Caulolatilus princeps

Malacanthidae
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Malacanthidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • elongate, compressed
  • 1 dorsal fin long base
  • mouth at front, fleshy lips
  • operculum: 1 spine
  • a: long base
FAMILY MALACANTHIDAE

TILEFISHES, WHITEFISHES

Tilefishes generally occur in sandy areas, frequently near reefs. They are characterized by a elongate, somewhat compressed body a long-based; continuous dorsal fin with 22-84 elements (spines plus segmented rays); and a single, sharp opercular spine. The teeth are mainly small and villiform and teeth are lacking on the roof of the mouth.

The pelagic juvenile stages have elongate, serrated spines on the head, and because of their relatively large size (to 8-10 cm), were once thought to be separate species. The subfamily Malacanthinae, containing Malacanthus and Hoplolatilus (an Indo- W. Pacific genus not found in our area) is characterized by a very slender body (depth usually about 20 percent of standard length), a dorsal fin with 22-64 total fin-ray elements, and an anal fin with 14-56 total elements. They generally occur in depths less than 50 metres and live either in burrows or mounds which they construct. Members of the subfamily Latilinae, including Caulolatilus, have a ridge of skin in front of the dorsal fin, and have a deeper body (depth usually about 27 percent of standard length), with a relatively steep snout profile. They generally have fewer dorsal and anal fin-ray elements (22-36 and 14-28 respectively). Many of the species dwell in depths below 50 m. Tilefishes feed on a wide variety of small fish and invertebrate items. Caulolatilus species consume eels, anchovies, lanternfishes, shrimps, crabs, polychaetes, brittle stars, urchins, molluscs ascidians and bryozoans.

The family contains five genera and about 42 species; it is distributed in tropical and temperate seas. The family was revised by Dooley (1978). In our area there are four species from two genera, one Indo-Pacific species and three endemics.


References
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Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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