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Douglass F. Hoese & Dianne J. Bray
The Trichonotidae are a small family restricted to the Indo-west Pacific. Currently, one genus is recognised (Nelson 1994). Nine species are now known, of which three are recorded from Australia.
Sanddivers may either hover above sand or perch on sand adjacent to coral reefs or dive headfirst into sand. Some species, however, are known from silty to muddy bottoms. They have a distinctive elongate body and a strongly projecting lower jaw. Maximum size reached is 20 cm.
Originally, Nelson (1994) recognised six species and Randall & Tarr (1994) increased that to seven with the addition of a new species; Randall & Tarr also provided a key to species, as did Nelson (2001). Clark & Pohle (1996) described Trichonotus halstead from southern New Guinea, a species that may occur in Australia. It is not clear, however, whether it is distinct from T. blochii, a species known only from Australia. The family requires revision.
Nelson (1986) discussed features distinguishing the family from the Creediidae.
Clark, E. & Pohle, M. 1996. Trichonotus halstead, a new sand-diving fish from Papua New Guinea. Environmental Biology of Fishes 45: 1-11
Nelson, J.S. 1986. Some characters of the Trichonotidae, with emphasis to those distinguishing it from the Creediidae (Perciformes: Trachinoidei). Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 33(1): 1-16
Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons 600 pp.
Nelson, J.S. 2001. Trichonotidae, Creediidae, Percophidae. pp. 3511-3516 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.
Randall, J.E. & Tarr, A.B. 1994. Trichonotus arabicus (Perciformes: Trichonotidae), a new species of sand diver from the Arabian Gulf and Oman. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 14: 309-316
Common Name References
Nelson, J.S. 2001. Trichonotidae, Creediidae, Percophidae. pp. 3511-3516 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.  (Sanddivers)
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