Ryan Photographic - Opistognathidae - Jawfish or smilers


Invertebrates
Chordates
Photo Library
Search

The Opistognathidae are a family of mostly burrow-building fishes found in the Gulf of Mexico and coral reef areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They build their own burrows by taking a mouth full of sand and then depositing it elsewhere. They are quick to take refuge in their burrows if approached too closely. Typically they wait with just their head protruding and make short forays to pick off passing zooplankton. They are all mouth breeders (as far as we know) with the male keeping the eggs in their mouth until they hatch. The giant jawfish in one of the photographs below has eyed eggs in his mouth.

Fishbase lists 79 species in 3 genera.

 

Opistognathus aurifrons Yellowheaded jawfish

Opistognathus aurifrons Yellowheaded jawfish, Glover's Reef, Belize

Opistognathus punctatus Finespotted jawfish

Opistognathus punctatus, Finespotted jawfish, egg brooding male

FISH 5735 Opistognathus punctatus Finespotted jawfish, egg brooding male.

Opistognathus rosenblatti Blue-spotted jawfish

Blue-spotted jawfish

FISH 9167 Opistognathus rosenblatti, Blue-spotted jawfish, Espiritu Santo, Sea of Cortez

Opistognathus rosenblatti, Blue-spotted jawfish, Espiritu Santo, Sea of Cortez

FISH 9158 Opistognathus rosenblatti, Blue-spotted jawfish, Espiritu Santo, Sea of Cortez

Opistognathus sp. Yellowbarred jawfish

Opistognathus sp. Yellowbarred jawfish, Sulawesi
Yellowbarred jawfish Kri Eco Raja Ampat

FISH 9163 Opistognathus sp. Yellowbarred jawfish Kri Eco Raja Ampat.

Opistognathus species Yellowbarred jawfish Kri Eco Raja Ampat

FISH 9169 Opistognathus species Yellowbarred jawfish Kri Eco Raja Ampat.

[Previous]

Fishes

[Next]

 

[Up]

 Photo Library

[Home]  Home Page
[Contents]  Dr Paddy Ryan Contents
[Contact]  Contact Paddy

 

Ryan Photographic, 2802 East 132nd Circle, Thornton, CO  80241  USA  Phone 303-919-7145