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Mastacembelidae (spiny eel; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes) A family of freshwater fish that have very elongate, eel-like bodies. The dorsal fin consists of a series of short spines followed by a long second dorsal fin matched by the anal fin. Typically, the pointed snout terminates in long, fleshy, tubular nostrils, probably used by these nocturnal fish to sniff out food in darkness. There are about 50 species, occurring in tropical Africa and Asia.