(page 382)


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The bluefish (the only member of its family) resembles the pompano family in the general structure and arrangement of its fins, there being two dorsals, the first spiny and the second soft, with the ventrals well forward under the pectorals. But it lacks the free spines in front of the anal fin which are characteristic of most pompanos; its caudal peduncle is deeper; its tail is less deeply forked; and its teeth are much larger. It bears a superficial resemblance to certain of the weakfish family (p. 417) in its general body form and in the arrangement of its fins. But it is readily separable from any of the latter by the fact that its anal fin is nearly as long as its soft (second) dorsal, and from the sea-bass family in that its first (spiny) dorsal is much lower than the second. Most American ichthyologists look upon the bluefish family as closely allied to the pompanos, but [page 383] it should be grouped with the sea-bass tribe according to another view because of skeletal characters.