Mouth terminal or slightly inferior; head without barbels; preorbitals usually projecting forward; pectoral fin with lower three rays free and enlarged; barbels absent on lower jaw; two separate dorsal fins, the first with 7-11 spines and the second with 10-23 soft rays; anal fin with 0-1 spines and 11-23 soft rays; casquelike, bony head; lower two or three pectoral rays enlarged and free, used for detecting food; caudal fin with 9 or 10 branched rays; tip of snout usually with paired rostral (preorbital) projections, often bearing spines, giving the snout a bilobed appearance in dorsal view (especially pronounced in most peristediines); branchiostegal rays seven. Benthic habitat. Triglids are good sound producers. Maximum length up to 1 m.
Ten genera in three tribes with about 105 species (e.g., del Cerro and Lloris, 1997a, b; Richards and Jones, 2002; Richards and Miller, 2003; Richards et al., 2003).
tribe prionotini. Lateral line not bifurcate on caudal fin; Baudelot's ligament originates on skull; 26 vertebrae. Western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans (i.e., off Americas); most species in Atlantic.
Two genera, Bellator and Prionotus.
tribe pterygotriglini. One genus, Pterygotrigla.
tribe triglini. Seven genera, Aspitrigla,, Chelidonichthys, Eutrigla, Lepidotrigla, Parapterygotrigla, Trigla, and Trigloporus.
Family PERISTEDIIDAE (311)—armored searobins. Marine; found in deep water in the tropics of all oceans.
Body entirely encased by four rows of heavy spine-bearing plates on each side; mouth inferior; preorbitals each with a forward projection; pectoral fin with lower two rays free and enlarged; barbels on lower jaw.
About four genera, Gargariscus, Heminodus, Peristedion, and Satyrichthys, with about 36 species (e.g., Miller and Richards, 2003).
Family BEMBRIDAE (312)—deepwater flatheads. Marine; Indian and Pacific.
Head moderately to strongly depressed; pelvics below pectoral base; first dorsal fin with 6-12 spines and second dorsal fin with 8-12 soft rays; pectoral fin with 21-27 rays. Most are small, red, benthic fishes occurring from about 150-650 m.
The Indo-West Pacific Parabembras, with two species, is placed in its own family, Parabemdridae, by Imamura (1996, 2004). Bembradium is aligned with Plectrogenium and placed in its own platycephaloid family Plectrogenidae by Imamura (1996). Both Parabembra and Bembradium are provisionally retained here.
Five genera, Bembradium, Bembradon, Bembras, Brachybembras, and Parabembras, with about 10 species (e.g., Imamura and Knapp, 1998).
Family PLATYCEPHALIDAE (313)—flatheads. Marine (some brackish); primarily Indo-Pacific.
Head moderately to strongly depressed; pelvics behind pectoral base; first dorsal fin with 6-10 spines, first dorsal spine short and barely connected with rest of fin, and second dorsal fin with 11-15 soft rays; pectoral fin with 16-22 rays. Benthic habitat, often burying in the bottom, occurring from about 10-300 m. Maximum length about 1.1 m.
Solitas gruveli is the only species outside the Indo-Pacific, and it is in the eastern Atlantic off Africa. Two subfamilies are recognized by Imamura (1996), Platycephalalinae (for two genera) and Onigociinae.
About 18 genera (e.g., Ambiserrula, Cociella, Elates, Eurycephalus, Grammoplites, Inegocia, Leviprora, Onigocia, Papilloculiceps, Platycephalus, Rogadius, Solitas, Sorsogona, Suggrundus, and Thysanophrys) with about 65 species (e.g., Knapp, 1996; Imamura, 1996; Imamura and Knapp, 1999).
Family HOPLICHTHYIDAE (314)—ghost flatheads. Marine; Indo-Pacific.
Body elongate; head extremely depressed and very wide, with spines and ridges; no scales, row of spiny scutes along side; lower pectoral rays (three or four) free; no anal spines; 26 vertebrae (8 + 18). Benthic, from about 10-1,500 m. Maximum length 43 cm. Winterbottom (1993a) provides evidence of a possible (and unexpected) sister-group relationship of hoplichthyids to gobioids due to their sharing more apparently unique derived characters with that group than with any other taxon; this warrants further investigation. One genus, Hoplichthys, with about 10 species.
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