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a family of fishes of the suborder Cottoidei of the order Perciformes. Body length, 10–20 cm (sometimes to 40 cm). The body is enclosed in a hard armor consisting of eight longitudinal rows of large bony plates. There are more than 25 genera, with 50 species. The fishes are found primarily in the northern Pacific. Only one endemic genus is known in the north Atlantic, Arctic, and Antarctic oceans. The Agonidae are bottom-dwelling fishes. They usually spawn in the summer and autumn, depositing large, sticky eggs. The fishes feed on benthic invertebrates.