Any of about 45 species (family Batrachoididae) of heavy-bodied, carnivorous, bottom-living fishes, found chiefly in the New World and mostly in warm seas. Toadfishes, up to 16 in. (40 cm) long, have a broad, flattened head, a large mouth, strong teeth, and small scales (if any). Most produce grunting or croaking sounds. The oyster toadfish (Opsanus tau) is common in shallow eastern North American coastal waters. Venomous toadfishes (genera Thalassophryne and Daector), of Central and South America, have venom-injecting spines on their dorsal fins and gill covers. Midshipmen (genus Porichthys), shallow-water American fishes, have rows of 600–840 buttonlike light organs along the body.