; subclass Actinopterygii, order Gadiformes)
A fairly large family of marine fish that have long, compressed bodies with minute scales. The dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are often united to form a continuous fin, although a few species possess a small, separate, tail fin. The pelvic fins are reduced to slender, filamentous rays in the throat region, and probably are used as feelers. The Ophidiidae inhabit the seas at all depths, with those living at greater depths possessing rudimentary eyes. The family includes several species of commercial importance. There are about 190 species, distributed world-wide.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.