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Unique Characters: Body subcylindrical. Head large; large sensory canals separated by very thin bony ridges and covered with membranous skin. Eye small in most species. Snout short and blunt. Mouth moderately large and oblique, one supramaxilla. Teeth on jaws minute, in bands or uniserial row; vomer and palatine toothless. Total number of dorsal-fin elements (spines plus rays) less than 16. Anal fin with 1 weak spine and 7-10 soft rays. Caudal fin emarginate, with 3 or 4 procurrent spines in upper and lower lobes and 19 principal rays. Pectoral fins with 13-16 soft rays. Pelvic fins with 1 spine and 6-8 soft rays. Scales thin and cycloid, usually deciduous, moderate-sized to very large. Lateral line reduced to 1 or 2 pored scales behind upper edge of operculum. More than 20 transverse scale rows from nape to caudal base (scales mostly lost, leaving discernable scale pockets); scales on cheek (leaving discernable scale pockets). Ridges on top of head not crest-like with edges smooth. No conspicuous dorsally-directed spine between nostrils; ventral edge, angle, and posterior edge of preopercle smooth. Scales on cheek 2 or 3 (but often lost).
Similar Species: None.