Opistognathus brasiliensis

Common Name

Darkfin Jawfish

Year Described

Smith-Vaniz, 1997


Dorsal Fin: XI, 16
Anal Fin: III, 15-16
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 18-19
Gill Rakers: 33-36 (total)
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 18 caudal; 28 total

Maxilla of males with thin, flexible posterior extension. Jaws huge; reaching well past rear margin of orbit. Premaxillary and dentary with teeth. Vomer with 1-3 teeth. Lateral line extends posteriorly to between 2nd and 4th segmented dorsal ray. Nape, head, and pectoral base scaleless. Rest of body fully scaled, including area above lateral line. Lateral scale rows: 59-75. Dorsal fin spines slender with sharp, flexible tips. Anterior nostril with a short cirrus.


Body brown with 5-6 dark bands on the dorsum that continue onto the dorsal fin. Head brown with a dark band from top of head onto preopercle. Males with two bands on the inside of the maxilla (female with one stripe). Dorsal and anal fins darker on posterior half. Ocellus on dorsal fin between spines 4 and 7. Caudal fin dark without basal white spots.


Adults range from 107-130mm SL.


A moderately deep dwelling species, found from 50-69m.


Known only from southern Brazil.


Smith-Vaniz, W. F. 1997. Five new species of jawfishes (Opistognathus: Opistognathidae) from the western Atlantic Ocean. Bulletin of Marine Science v. 60 (3): 1074-1128.