by D. M. Cohen
Generally elongate, silvery fishes. Mouth small, upper jaw short and not reaching beyond front margin of eye; no teeth in upper jaw. Parietal bones meeting in midline. A single short-based dorsal fin near midpoint of body (but sometimes well behind); adipose dorsal fin present in some; anal fin short-based and far back on body; no spinous finrays. No light organs or luminous tissue. Scales present.
Some species on continental shelf and upper slope, probably benthopelagic (Argentininae), others oceanic, mesopelagic (Microstomatinae); the former locally abundant, the latter generally rare. Feeding on epibenthic and some pelagic invertebrates and some fishes (Argentininae), or probably on zooplankton (Microstomatinae). Pelagic eggs and larvae. Only Argentina silus of slight commercial importance.
Genera 5; in Clofnam area 4.
Recent revisions: higher classification by Cohen (1964), Greenwood & Rosen (1972).
1. Once again considered as distinct families by Ahlstrom, Morer and Cohen