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an order of fishes closely related to Perciformes. The body is usually laterally compressed and high. There are one to four spines in the anal fin and six to nine spines in the pelvic fins. The mouth, which protrudes when grasping food, forms a wide tube.
There are three to six families, embracing about 50 species. The fishes live in tropical and warm seas near the coasts and along the slope of the continental shelf. They are predominantly deepwater inhabitants, with some species living at depths greater than 1,000 m.
A typical representative is Zeus faber, which usually is 20–30 cm long (sometimes reaching 50 cm) and reaches a weight of 8 kg. It has a black spot on its side. The fish is distributed in the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean and in the Mediterranean Sea; it is mainly a bottom dweller, staying at depths of 100 to 500 m. A predator, Z. faber feeds predominantly on herring, sardines, and sand eels. It has little commercial significance. The fish is the only species of the order Zeiformes that occurs in the waters of the USSR: it occasionally is found in the Black Sea.
REFERENCESSvetovidov, A. N. Ryby Chernogo moria. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Nikol’skii, V. G. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.
Zhizri’ zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 1. Moscow, 1971.
V. M. MAKUSHOK