Species Currently in the DFL
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About This Family
Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific.
In mounds or borrows.
The Malacanthidae family is divided into two subfamilies: Malacanthinae (sand tilefishes) and Latinae (or Branchiosteginae). Both subfamilies have relatively long dorsal and anal fins, the latter having 11-55 soft rays and 1-2 weak spines. They have a single opercular spine, both sharp and strong in Malacanthinae and Caulolatilus (Bighead tilefish) and their caudal fin can be truncated or forked.
There are distinct physical differences between the two subfamilies. Malancanthinae are smaller in size and has a slender, elongated body, with the absent of the predorsal ridge. Their heads are rounded, and they are found in depths less than 50 m. Latinae, on the other hand, are larger in size, with the present of the predorsal ridge. Their head is both round and square, and they are usually found at depths of 20-600 m.
They feed on benthic invertebrates or zoopankton.
This family has 5 genera and about 40 species.