; subclass Actinopterygii, order Gobiesociformes)
A family of marine, warm-water fish. Mainly shallow-water bottom-dwellers, they have somewhat flattened bodies, a small mouth, and narrow gill openings on the upper side of the head. The males are often brightly coloured and have larger fins than the females. The male of the European dragonet (Callionymus lyra, up to 30 cm long) is known to initiate a ‘nuptial dance’ prior to spawning. There are about 40 species, some of them found at depths of several hundred metres. A number of authors consider the dragonets to belong to the order Perciformes.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.