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Sailfin moonfishes
Metavelifer multiradiatus.jpg
Metavelifer multiradiatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Lampriformes
Family: Veliferidae
Bleeker, 1859


Sailfin moonfishes are a small family, Veliferidae, of lampriform fishes found in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. Unlike other lampriforms, they live in shallow, coastal waters, of less than 100 m (330 ft) depth, rather than in the deep ocean. They are also much smaller than most of their relatives, up to 30 cm (12 in) in length, and have deep, rather than elongated, bodies. They are characterised by their ability to retract the anterior rays of their dorsal and anal fins into a sheath.[1]


The two extant species in two genera are:

A prehistoric fossil member of the family is Veronavelifer, from the Eocene of Italy.


  1. ^ Olney, John E. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 157–158. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.