Moderately slender, posteriorly tapering fishes with large heads and jaws, and two dorsal fins, the first moderately long-based, often with one or more of the anterior rays prominently elongate, and a second small adipose fin. Teeth fine, sharp and curved, both jaws with two outer rows, upper jaw with two inner rows of larger teeth; scales ctenoid; lateral line sloping to lateral midline; caudal fin forked; ventral fins broad.
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