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(also Fierasferidae), a family of pearl fishes of the order Perciformes. Carapidae are up to 30 cm in length. The body, which has no scales, is distinctly elongated, narrowing at the tail. The anal opening is located directly behind the head, on the throat. The family comprises four genera, with 25 species, which are distributed in the coastal waters of tropical and subtropical seas. Two stages of metamorphosis occur during the development of the fish. In the first stage, the vexillifer stage, the larvae lead a planktonic mode of existence. In the second stage, the tenuis stage, they sink to the sea bottom and inhabit the body of a holothurian, starfish, bivalve mollusk, ascidian, or other host and lead a parasitic mode of existence.