Lizardfishes

Lizardfishes (Aulopiformes) are generally deep-water dwellers (130-550 meters), although there are species from more superficial waters. Its name comes from the Greek aulopias which means pipe due to the shape of its body.

With an elongated body and oval section, Lizardfishes have a large mouth that extends past the eyes. The dorsal fin has 14-16 spokes and is in the anterior third of the body. They have a small dorsal fin located at the level of half of the anal fin. The pectoral fins have 13 spokes and are born just below the lateral line and in a slightly anterior position than the dorsal and pelvic fins. The pelvic fins are larger than the pectoral fins, have 9 spokes and are located in an abdominal position. The anal fin has 10-13 spokes. None of the fins have spines.

Lizardfishes are predators that feed on small fish and shrimp. There is sexual dimorphism, mainly the colors of the dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins. As a curiosity of this order of species, some species of lizard fish are hermaphrodites, being possible self-fertilization. There are 261 species in 15 families and 47 genera.


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