Glossary of ichthyology

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Ichthyology uses several terms that are unique to the science.

Ichthyology Branch of zoology devoted to the study of fish

Ichthyology, also known as fish science, is the branch of zoology devoted to the study of fish. This includes bony fish (Osteichthyes), cartilaginous fish (Chondrichthyes), and jawless fish (Agnatha). While a large number of species have been discovered, around 250 new species are officially described each year. According to FishBase, 33,400 species of fish had been described as of October 2016.


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Goodeidae family of fishes

Splitfins are a family, Goodeidae, of teleost fish endemic to Mexico and some areas of the United States. This family contains about 50 species within 18 genera. The family is named after ichthyologist George Brown Goode.


Barbel (anatomy) Whisker-like sensory organs near the mouth of some fish species

In fish anatomy and turtle anatomy, a barbel is a slender, whiskerlike sensory organ near the mouth. Fish that have barbels include the catfish, the carp, the goatfish, the hagfish, the sturgeon, the zebrafish, the black dragonfish and some species of shark such as the sawshark. Barbels house the taste buds of such fish and are used to search for food in murky water.

The pelagic zone consists of the water column of the open ocean, and can be further divided into regions by depth. The word "pelagic" is derived from Ancient Greek πέλαγος (pélagos), meaning 'open sea'. The pelagic zone can be thought of in terms of an imaginary cylinder or water column that goes from the surface of the sea almost to the bottom. Conditions differ deeper in the water column such that as pressure increases with depth, the temperature drops and less light penetrates. Depending on the depth, the water column, rather like the Earth's atmosphere, may be divided into different layers.

Benthic zone the region at the lowest level of a body of water including the sediment surface and some sub-surface layers

The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water such as an ocean, lake, or stream, including the sediment surface and some sub-surface layers. Organisms living in this zone are called benthos and include microorganisms as well as larger invertebrates, such as crustaceans and polychaetes. Organisms here generally live in close relationship with the substrate and many are permanently attached to the bottom. The benthic boundary layer, which includes the bottom layer of water and the uppermost layer of sediment directly influenced by the overlying water, is an integral part of the benthic zone, as it greatly influences the biological activity that takes place there. Examples of contact soil layers include sand bottoms, rocky outcrops, coral, and bay mud.


Fish anatomy study of the form or morphology of fishes

Fish anatomy is the study of the form or morphology of fishes. It can be contrasted with fish physiology, which is the study of how the component parts of fish function together in the living fish. In practice, fish anatomy and fish physiology complement each other, the former dealing with the structure of a fish, its organs or component parts and how they are put together, such as might be observed on the dissecting table or under the microscope, and the latter dealing with how those components function together in living fish.

Countershading form of camouflage

Countershading, or Thayer's law, is a method of camouflage in which an animal's coloration is darker on the upper side and lighter on the underside of the body. This pattern is found in many species of mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, and insects, both predators and prey, and has occurred since at least the Cretaceous period.










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Tetraodontiformes order of fishes

The Tetraodontiformes are an order of highly derived ray-finned fish, also called the Plectognathi. Sometimes these are classified as a suborder of the order Perciformes. The Tetraodontiformes are represented by 10 extant families and at least 349 species overall; most are marine and dwell in and around tropical coral reefs, but a few species are found in freshwater streams and estuaries. They have no close relatives, and descend from a line of coral-dwelling species that emerged around 80 million years ago.

Ridgehead family of fish (Melamphaidae)

Ridgeheads, also known as bigscales, are a family of small, deep-sea stephanoberyciform fish. The family contains approximately 37 species in five genera; their distribution is worldwide, but ridgeheads are absent from the Arctic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Although the family is one of the most widespread and plentiful of deep-sea families, none of its members are of interest to commercial fishery.

Rajiformes order of fishes

Rajiformes is one of the four orders in the superorder Batoidea, flattened cartilaginous fishes related to sharks. Rajiforms are distinguished by the presence of greatly enlarged pectoral fins, which reach as far forward as the sides of the head, with a generally flattened body. The undulatory pectoral fin motion diagnostic to this taxon is known as rajiform locomotion. The eyes and spiracles are located on the upper surface of the head and the gill slits are on the underside of the body. Most species give birth to live young, although some lay eggs with a horny capsule.

Greenback flounder species of fish

The greenback flounder is a righteye flounder of the genus Rhombosolea, found around southern Australia and New Zealand.

Conta is a small genus of South Asian river catfishes native to India and Bangladesh.

Breitensteinia is a genus of catfishes of the family Akysidae. It includes three species.

<i>Acrochordonichthys</i> Genus of catfish

Acrochordonichthys is a genus of catfishes of the family Akysidae. It includes ten species.

<i>Synodontis granulosus</i> species of fish

Synodontis granulosus is a species of upside-down catfish endemic to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Zambia, and Tanzania, where it is only known from Lake Tanganyika. It was first described by Belgian-British zoologist George Albert Boulenger in 1900, from specimens collected at multiple points along the shore of Lake Tanganyika. The species name comes from the Latin word "granulum", meaning of grain, and refers to the granular papillae present on the skin of the fish's body.

Blob sculpin species of fish

The blob sculpin is a species of deep-sea fish of the family Psychrolutidae. It feeds mainly on crustaceans, molluscs, and sea pens.

Smallmouth scad species of fish

The smallmouth scad, is a species of tropical marine fish in the jack family Carangidae. The species is endemic to northern Australia, inhabiting primarily inshore waters. It is similar to other scads in the genus Alepes, and is distinguished by a well-developed posterior adipose eyelid, as well as fin membrane spotting and gill raker counts. It is not a large species, with the maximum length reported to be 29.5 cm. It feeds primarily on a variety of small invertebrates, and is of very minor economic importance.

<i>Synodontis petricola</i> species of fish

Synodontis petricola, known as the cuckoo catfish, or the pygmy leopard catfish, is a species of upside-down catfish endemic to Burundi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania where it is only known from Lake Tanganyika. It was first described by Belgian ichthyologist Hubert Matthes in 1959. The species name "petricola" is derived from a combination of the Latin petra, meaning stone or rock, and the Latin cola, meaning inhabitant. This refers to the rocky environment where this species is found.

Shadow trevally species of fish

The shadow trevally, also known as the shadow kingfish, twothread trevally or Aldabra trevally, is a species of inshore marine fish in the jack family Carangidae. The species is patchily distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and west Pacific Oceans, from South Africa in the west to Japan and Samoa in the east, reaching as far south as Indonesia and New Caledonia. It is most easily distinguished from similar species by as series of dark rectangular blotches under the second dorsal fin, giving a 'shadowed' appearance, from which its common name is derived. The shadow trevally is a reasonably large fish, growing to 85 cm in length and at least 2.6 kg in weight. It inhabits shallow coastal waters, including reefs, bays, and estuaries, where it takes small fish and benthic crustaceans as prey. Nothing is known of the species' ecology and reproductive biology. It is of little importance to fisheries, and is occasionally taken by bottom trawls and other artisanal fishing gear.

Urenchelys is an extinct genus of prehistoric bony fish. This genus is interesting as comprising the oldest known eels, which differ from all the tertiary and existing eels in still retaining the caudal fin.

Synodontis lucipinnis is a species of upside-down catfish endemic to Zambia, where it is only known from the Musende Rocks area (Mpulungu) of Lake Tanganyika. It was first described by Jeremy John Wright and Lawrence M. Page in 2006. The species name "lucipinnis" is derived from a combination of the Latin luci, meaning bright or clear, and the Latin pinnis, meaning fin. This refers to the light coloration in a patch on the base of the fins of this species.

Gymnotus choco, commonly known as the cuchillo, is an electric knifefish. G. choco is distinguished from its cogenerate species group by a color pattern possessing pale yellow bands oriented obliquely, wherein the interband margins are wavy or even irregular; one to three Y-shaped dark bands occur on its body's posterior section; and its pale bands do not extend above the fish's lateral line on its body's anterior two-thirds. G. choco is most similar to G. paraguensis from the Pantanal in Brazil and Paraguay. From the latter, it is distinguished by having a narrower mouth, a more cylindrical body, and a longer preanal distance.

Astyanax microschemos is a species of characid fish from Brazil. It belongs to the A. scabripinnis species complex and differs from other species outside it by having a lower number of branched anal fin rays and its shallow body depth being about 26.9-29.7 vs more than 35% of its standard length (SL). Compared to species of its own complex, it can be distinguished by the combination of its shallow body depth, and smaller interorbital width. The species name comes from the Greek mikroschemos, meaning "low stature", which refers to the shallow body depth of the animal.

Astyanax pelecus is a species of characid fish from Brazil. It can be distinguished from its cogenerate species by: its body depth ; its short and pointed snout smaller than the orbital diameter; and a reduced number of branched anal fin rays. A. pelecus also differs from members of its genus by its characteristic color pattern. It possesses a single humeral spot that is constricted to the region above the lateral line; at the same time it shows a conspicuous midlateral body stripe from opercle to the caudal fin base, an autapomorphy of this precise species. Most other Astyanax species have a humeral spot that is vertically or horizontally elongate and have the midlateral stripe becoming faint near that humeral spot. The species name is derived from the Greek pelekus, meaning "axe", referring to the pigmentation shape resulting from the adjoinment of the humeral spot with the midlateral stripe.

<i>Asterolepis</i> (fish)

Asterolepis is an extinct genus of antiarch placoderms from the Devonian of North and South America and Europe. They were heavily armored flat-headed benthic detritivores with distinctive jointed limb-like pectoral fins and hollow spine. The armor plate gives the Asterolepis a box-like shape. Its pectoral fins are also armored but the caudal and dorsal fin are not. The first fossils were named by M. Eichwald in 1840 after noticing star-like markings on the fossils.

Ogcocephalus porrectus, the rosy-lipped batfish, is endemic to Cocos Island off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Though members of Ogcocephalidae occur in tropical, warm waters in both the Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific. Rosy-lipped batfish generally reside in shallow to deep water benthic zones with a bathymetric range of 35 – 150 m. The syntypic series was collected at 120 m on a rocky bottom. What makes this fish distinctive are its rosy red lips, specialized pectoral fins used for "walking", and an illicium used for attracting prey.