Physical Characteristics

Carapus bermudensis is long, slender, and eel-like, with a large head and relatively large eyes. It is translucent, with silvery bands along the flanks, black internal pigment visible along the vertebral column, a silver cheek patch, and large pigment blotches along the bases of the dorsal and anal fins and head. The anal fin origin is anterior to the dorsal fin origin. There are 13-18 anal rays anterior to the first dorsal ray. This number varies among pearlfish species and is useful in identification. There are no pelvic fins, and the caudal fin usually is absent. The pectoral fin has 17-20 rays. The teeth on the upper jaw are small, and some are heart-shaped. The teeth on the lower jaw are larger and conical. The air bladder is separated into two parts by an internal constriction under vertebrae 11 and 12. This feature of the internal anatomy is characteristic of all species in the genus Carapus, and the position of the constriction relative to the vertebrae allows for separation of species.

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