Gape long, extending beyond anterior margin of orbit; body cylindrical; five branchiostegal rays; pectoral fin rays relatively few, 9-14; dorsal fin with 8-15 rays (plus three rudimentary ones), origin in front of anal fin and usually over pelvic fins (males of Erythrinus can have an elongated dorsal fin); anal fin short, 10-11 rays; adipose fin absent; caudal fin rounded; scales relatively large, 34-47 in lateral line; numerous teeth on palate.
Some are predators. Some can breathe air and move across land between ponds. They show some resemblance to Amia in body shape. Maximum length about 1.0 m, attained in Hoplias lacerdae and H. macrophthalmus.
Three genera, Erythrinus (2), Hoplerythrinus (3), and Hoplias (9), with about 14 species (Oyakawa, 2003).
Was this article helpful?