Opistognathus megalepis

Common Name

Largescale Jawfish

Year Described

Smith-Vaniz, 1972


Dorsal Fin: XI-XII, 11-12
Anal Fin: III, 11
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 35-36
Gill Rakers: 28-36 (total)
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 16 caudal; 26 total

A small jawfish. Maxilla of males without posterior extension. Premaxillary, dentary, and vomer with teeth. Lateral line extends posteriorly to between spine 2 and the second segmented dorsal ray. Lateral scale rows: 32-42. Anal fins rays segmented. Dorsal fin spines with sharp, flexible tips. Anterior nostril without cirrus.


Body uniformly yellowish with no obvious markings. Dorsal fin brown anteriorly, and tapering posteriorly to the edge of the fin. Anal fin with a brownish distal half. Caudal fin with brown distally.


Adults range from 26.4-43.3mm SL.


A deepsea jawfish found between the depths of 79-301m on soft substrate.


Scattered records from off the Yucatan (Arrowsmith Bank), the Bahamas, and the Lesser Antilles (Grenada).


Smith-Vaniz, W. F. 1972. Two new species of Caribbean deep-dwelling jawfishes (Opistognathus, Opistognathidae). Copeia (1): 48-53.