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Chaunacidae (Sea Toads & Coffinfishes)

Species Currently in the DFL

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Chaunacops coloratus
Sea Toad
About This Family
Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.
Marine. Deep ocean.
Sea Toads and Coffinfishes have globose or cuboid bodies that taper towards the tail. Their skin, commonly pink to red-orange in color, is loose and flabby and covered with very tiny, spiny scales (similar in texture to shark skin). The lateral lines, which are most prominent on the head, are wide open canals protected by spiny scales on either side.

Like most deep sea fishes, they have a very large mouth for swallowing larger prey. The first dorsal fin spine has a terminal lure (esca) that retracts into a U-shaped depression on the anterior portion of the snout. The teeth are arranged in bands on the jaws, vomer and palatines, and are relatively small compared to those of other deep sea fishes.

This family comprises 2 genera, Chaunacops and Chaunax, and 15 species.

Caruso pp. 2020-2021 in: Carpenter & Niem 1999; Nelson 2006

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