Family Caracanthidae 305orbicular velvetfishes Marine Indian and Pacific

Body oval, extremely compressed, and covered with small rough papillae; mouth small and terminal; one dorsal fin with a notch, origin on nape, with 6-8 spines and 11-14 soft rays; anal fin with two spines and 11-14 soft rays; pectoral fins with 12-15 rays; pelvic fins inconspicuous, with one spine and two or three small soft rays; gill openings restricted to sides; scales below the dorsal fin base and on the dorsal surface of the head (the latter are minute and bear a single spine) and tubelike scales on the lateral line; vertebrae 24. Maximum length only 7 cm.

One genus, Caracanthus, with about four species.

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