JAWFISHES - OPISTOGNATHIDAE
Mostly small fishes with enlarged head and mouth and narrow tapering body.
Live in burrows in sand which they enter tail-first.
Feed on benthic and planktonic invertebrates.
Large-mouthed. Cycloid scales with head naked. Pelvic fins more anterior than pectorals; 1 spine, 5 soft rays (inner 3 weak and branched, outer 2 stout and unbranched). Continuous dorsal fin 9-12 spines. High lateral line running along dorsal, terminating at the middle of dorsal fin (a species with both ventral and dorsal lateral lines). Palatine toothless. Species of Stalix with transversly forked anterior spines in dorsal fin.
Greek, opisthe = behind + Greek, gnathos = jaw