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Pholididae (Pholidae; butterfish, gunnel; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes) A small family of slender, compressed, marine fish, in which the body has very small scales, and the skin is often slimy (‘buttery’). The long, low, dorsal fin begins behind the head and terminates close to the small tail. Although the anal fin is long-based, the pelvic fins are minute. Commonly distributed along the shores of the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere, the fish tend to hide in crevices. There are about 13 species.