Anableps anableps

Common Name

Largescaled Foureye Fish

Year Described

Linnaeus, 1758


Dorsal Fin: 7-10
Anal Fin: 11
Pectoral Fin: 20-26
Pelvic Fin: 6

Body elongate and laterally compressed except for the head which is strongly flattened and pointed. Mouth tiny at the tip of snout. Eyes are raised above the head and are split by a horizontal band of tissue, giving the appearance of having two pairs of eyes, one below and one above the surface of the water. Dorsal fin set far back on body. Anal fin inserted far anterior to dorsal fin origin and close to pelvic fin, which is inserted beyond tip of pectoral fin. The anal fin of males is modified into a gonopodium. Pectoral fin is large. Caudal fin is rounded but often asymmetrical in shape. Scales relatively large (<64 in midlateral series).


Brown to olive above, grading to whitish below. There are 4-5 dark stripes from the base of the pectoral fin to the caudal peduncle, becoming more diffuse dorsally and often connecting on the caudal peduncle. A few other faint stripes may be present. A conspicuous whitish stripe runs along dorsal midline and separates into a Y-shaped marking on the top of the head. Dorsal, caudal and pectoral fins dusky. Ventral and anal fins pale.


Common to 14cm TL. Maximum size to 30cm TL.


Mainly in freshwater but also in brackish river mouths, lagoons, and mangrove swamps. Forms schools.


Venezuela to Brazil, including Trinidad.


Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2012.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., version (08/2012).

Ghedotti, M.J. 2002. Anablepidae (pp. 1152-1153). In: Carpenter. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 2: Bony fishes part 1 (Acipenseridae to Grammatidae). FAO Species Identification Guides for Fisheries Purposes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5. FAO of the U.N., Rome.