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| Common names: pearlfish (English), pez-perla (Espanol) |
Carapus mourlani (Petit, 1934)
Star pearl fish
Elongate, short, compressed body, long slender tail; upper jaw not bound to side of head by skin, extends well past eye; no small fleshy flaps on tip of snout; top jaw with a pair of large conical teeth at front, followed by 2-3 rows of very small sharp teeth; lower jaw with a band of teeth, outer row with 7-8 enlarged teeth at front; roof of mouth with 2-3 large canines at front, and a band of short, conical teeth on each side; gill opening extends above mid-side, gill membranes not united below; well developed gill rakers; well developed pectoral fin (2-3x length of head), 17-21 rays; anus and origin of anal fin before base of pectoral fin; dorsal and anal fins confluent with tail fin; dorsal origin well behind origin of anal; anal fin rays longer than dorsal fin rays, 18-25 rays.
Translucent; silvery to coppery on cheek and abdomen; with many star-shaped dark blotches on head and body.
Reaches 17 cm.
Lives in the body cavities of starfishes and holothurians; in the TEP lives inside the sea cucumber Isostichopus fuscus, and in the gill chamber of the Blunt-end Seahare, Dolabella auricularia
Depth range 3-116 m.
Indo-Pacific; E Africa to the Central and E Pacific; in the TEP is known from Ecuador to northern Costa Rica.