Common Family Name
Up to 90 cm, average 50 cm.
The parrot-like beak of adults is the most distinguishing feature. Formed by fused teeth. Very low dorsal fin. Anal and second dorsal fin forms a square body shape. Colouration from silver with black to dark grey with white markings.
Oplegnathidae family consists of 1 genus and 6 species. Small scales all over the body. Shy species found under ledges during the day. Hunts at night for food. Juvenile colouration differs from adults. Spawns on gravel with males fertilising the eggs.
Feeds on barnacles, molluscs, sea urchins, seaweed, sponges and red-bait.
Occurs in all temperate and tropical oceans of the world.
Banded knifejaw - Oplegnathus fasciatus
Cape knifejaw - Oplegnathus conwayi
Spotted knifejaw - Oplegnathus punctatus
© Johan Boshoff