Common name: Gemfishes, snake mackerals, escolars



A diverse group of small to medium-sized oceanic fishes found worldwide, mostly in tropical and subtropical waters. They have a fusiform to very long body, two separate dorsal fins, the second with a shorter base than the first, above the similar anal fin, followed by a series of finlets in some species; pelvic fins small in some species, reduced to a single spine in others, or absent. Mouth large with sharp robust teeth and a projecting lower jaw.

Gempylids are fast-swimming oceanic predators that are often found in deeper waters during the day, and migrating towards the surface at night.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Gemfishes, Snake mackerals, GEMPYLIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Mar 2018,

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Family Taxonomy

Gempylidae contains 16 genera and 24 species.


Dianne J. Bray