A distinctive group of compressed, moderately deep to deep-bodied fishes, with the head almost completely encased in exposed, striated bones.
Boarfishes have a small mouth, and many species have elongate snouts, especially as adults. Fins and fin spines are often prominent, the pelvic fins are large and the upper pectoral fin-rays are much longer than the lower.
Species live near the bottom, some in coastal waters, others on the outer continental shelf and upper slope, often around seamounts. Maximum length is 91 cm.
Kim (2012) described the osteological and myological characteristics of the family.
Key to southern Australian of PENTACEROTIDAE.
1a. Soft dorsal-fin base much longer than base of spinous portion; segment dorsal-fin rays 25-29 .......... 2
1b. Soft dorsal-fin base shorter than, or about same length as base of spinous portion; segmented dorsal-fin rays 8-18 .......... 3
2a. Pelvic‑fin bases anterior to pectoral‑fin bases; scales on opercles and subopercles; pored lateral line scales 66-72 .......... Parazanclistius
2b. Pelvic‑fin bases posterior to pectoral‑fin bases; scales absent from opercle and subopercle; pored lateral-line scales 55-65 .......... Zanclistius
3a. Anal-fin spines II-III; dorsal fin VII-XI, 14-18; snout noticeably attenuated, much longer than eye diameter .......... 4
3b. Anal-fin spines IV-V; dorsal fin XI-XV, 8-14; snout not especially attenuated, length about equal to eye diameter .......... 5
4a. Dorsal fin VII‑VIII, 16‑18; anterior segmented dorsal-fin rays only slightly longer than those posteriorly, not forming pointed lobe .......... Paristiopterus
4b. Dorsal fin X‑XI, 14‑15; anterior segmented dorsal-fin rays much longer than those posteriorly forming distinctly pointed lobe .......... Pentaceropsis
5a. Pored lateral‑line scales 45-53; dorsal‑fin rays XI‑XIII, 12‑14 .......... Pentaceros
5b. Pored lateral‑line scales 70-89; dorsal‑fin rays XIV‑XV, 8‑9 .......... Pseudopentaceros
A small family with 7 genera and 13 species. All genera and 10 species are found in Australian waters.
In a recent study of osteological and myological characters, Kim (2012) concluded that the genus Pseudopentaceros is a junior synonym of Pentaceros.
Pentacerotids are found in subantarctic to temperate waters of the Indo-Pacific and southwestern Atlantic oceans. Although some species are found in shallow waters, many often live around seamounts in deeper waters of the continental shelf and upper slope.
Meristic features: Dorsal fin IV-XIV, 9-29; Anal fin II-V, 7-13; Pelvic fins I, 5.
|To a maximum length of 91 cm.|
|Several species are taken in commercial trawl operations throughout thier range, and are marketed fresh in Australia.|
|IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: two species have been evaluated as Least Concern|
|Dianne J. Bray|
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IUCN REd List of Threatened Species http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search
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