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Cottoperca gobio.jpg
Cottoperca gobio

Drawing by Angel

Scientific classification

T. N. Gill, 1861
Genera [1]


The thornfishes are a family, Bovichtidae, of fishes in the order Perciformes. The family is spelled Bovichthyidae in J. S. Nelson's Fishes of the World . They are native to coastal waters off Australia, New Zealand, and South America, and to rivers and lakes of southeast Australia and Tasmania. They are one of two families of the suborder Notothenioidei with a primarily non-Antarctic distribution. [2] , the other being Pseudaphritidae.

Perciformes order of fishes

Perciformes, also called the Percomorpha or Acanthopteri, is an order or superorder of ray-finned fish. If considered a single order, they are the most numerous order of vertebrates, containing about 41% of all bony fish. Perciformes means "perch-like". This group comprises over 10,000 species found in almost all aquatic ecosystems.

<i>Fishes of the World</i> book

Fishes of the World by Joseph S. Nelson is a standard reference for fish systematics. Now in its fifth edition (2016), the work is a comprehensive overview of the diversity and classification of the 30,000-plus fish species known to science.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Phylogenetic analysis of morphological characters has revealed that the family Bovichtidae is not a monophyletic group. [3] [4]


Currently, three genera are included in this family, with the genus Pseudaphritis (Castelnau, 1872) now being placed in its own family, Pseudaphritidae. [1] [5]

Related Research Articles

Scorpaeniformes order of fishes

The Scorpaeniformes are a diverse order of ray-finned fish, including the well-known lionfish, but have also been called the Scleroparei. It is one of the five largest orders of bony fishes by number of species with over 1,320.

Characiformes order of fishes

Characiformes is an order of ray-finned fish, comprising the characins and their allies. Grouped in 18 recognized families, there are more than two thousand different species, including the well-known piranha and tetras.

The eelpouts are the ray-finned fish family Zoarcidae. As the common name suggests, they are somewhat eel-like in appearance, with elongated bodies and the dorsal and anal fins continuous with the caudal fin. All of the roughly 300 species are marine and mostly bottom-dwelling, some at great depths.

Antarctic toothfish species of fish

The Antarctic toothfish is a species of notothen native to the Southern Ocean. It is often mistakenly referred to as an Antarctic cod, consistent with the misnaming of other notothenioid Antarctic fish as rock cods. However, notothenioid fishes are unrelated to cods, which are in another taxonomic order, the Gadiformes. The generic name Dissostichus is from the Greek dissos (twofold) and stichus (line) and refers to the presence of two long lateral lines, which are very important to the species’ ecology. The common name "toothfish" refers to the presence of biserial dentition in the upper jaw, thought to give it a shark-like appearance. The habitat of the Antarctic toothfish is in subzero degree water below latitude 60°S.

Nototheniidae family of fishes

In some scientific literature, the term "cod icefish" is used to identify members of this family. This should not be confused with the term "icefish," which refers to the "white-blooded" fishes of the family Channichthyidae. To prevent confusion between these two families, the term "cod icefish" should be avoided whenever possible. For more information, see Icefish (disambiguation).

Beryciformes order of fishes

The Beryciformes are a poorly-understood order of carnivorous ray-finned fishes consisting of 7 families, 30 genera, and 161 species. They feed on small fish and invertebrates. Beyond this, little is known about the biology of most member species because of their nocturnal habits and deepwater habitats. All beryciform species are marine and most live in tropical to temperate, deepwater environments. Most live on the continental shelf and continental slope, with some species being found as deep as 2,000 m (6,600 ft). Some species move closer to the surface at night, while others live entirely in shallow water and are nocturnal, hiding in rock crevices and caves during the day. Several species are mesopelagic and bathypelagic. Beryciformes' bodies are deep and mildly compressed, typically with large eyes that help them see in darker waters. Colors range from red to yellow and brown to black, and sizes range from 8–61 cm (3.1–24.0 in). Member genera include the alfonsinos, squirrelfishes, flashlight fishes, fangtooth fishes, spinyfins, pineconefishes, redfishes, roughies, and slimeheads. A number of member species are caught commercially, including the alfonsino, the splendid alfonsino, and the orange roughy, the latter being much more economically important. Some species have bioluminescent bacteria contained in pockets of skin or in light organs near the eyes, including the anomalopids and monocentrids.

Channichthyidae family of fishes

The crocodile icefish or white-blooded fish (Channichthyidae) comprise a family of notothenioid fishes found in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. They are the only known vertebrates to lack hemoglobin in their blood as adults. Icefish populations are known to reside in the Atlantic and Indian sectors of the Southern Ocean as well as the continental shelf waters surrounding Antarctica. Water temperatures in these regions remain relatively stable. One icefish, Champsocephalus esox, is distributed north of the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone. At least sixteen species of crocodile icefish are currently recognized, although eight additional species have been proposed for the icefish genus Channichthys.

Notothenioidei suborder of fishes

Notothenioidei is one of 19 suborders from the order Perciformes and includes Antarctic fish and non-Antarctic fish. These species, which are referred to collectively as the notothenioids, account for approximately 90% of the fish fauna biomass in the continental shelf waters surrounding Antarctica. Antarctic notothenioids are highly endemic to the Southern Ocean.

Barbel (anatomy)

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.

Onychopoda subclass of crustaceans

Onychopoda are a specialised suborder of branchiopod crustaceans, belonging to the order Cladocera.

Gobiiformes order of fishes

The Gobiiformes are an order of fish that includes the gobies. The order, which was previously considered a suborder of Perciformes, is made up of 2,211 species that are divided into seven different families. Phylogenetic relationships of the Gobiiformes have been elucidated using molecular data. Gobiiforms are generally small fish and are mostly marine (saltwater) fishes, but roughly 10% of the population inhabit fresh waters. This order is made up of mainly benthic or sand-burrowing fish. Benthic fish live on the bottom of a body of water. Like in most benthic organisms, gobiiforms do not have a gas bladder or swim bladder which keeps them from suspending in the water column, so they must stay on the bottom.

Artedidraconidae family of fishes

The Artedidraconidae, barbeled plunderfishes, are a family of marine perciform fishes comprising four genera. Artedidraconidae are endemic to deep waters off Antarctica. The operculum carries a hook-shaped spine and four or five hypurals are present. Artedidraconidae have 33 to 41 vertebrae. The name Artedidraconidae is derived from a combination of Artedi and the Greek drakōn. A mental barbel is a characteristic of this family; the morphology of this barbel is variable with the species. Species of Artedidraconidae are said to have speciated sympatrically.

<i>Pogonophryne</i> genus of fishes

Pogonophryne is a genus of tadpole barbeled plunderfishes native to the marine waters off of Antarctica.

<i>Channichthys</i> genus of fishes

Channichthys is a genus of crocodile icefishes native to the Southern Ocean.

Wildlife of Antarctica

The wildlife of Antarctica are extremophiles, having to adapt to the dryness, low temperatures, and high exposure common in Antarctica. The extreme weather of the interior contrasts to the relatively mild conditions on the Antarctic Peninsula and the subantarctic islands, which have warmer temperatures and more liquid water. Much of the ocean around the mainland is covered by sea ice. The oceans themselves are a more stable environment for life, both in the water column and on the seabed.

<i>Pseudaphritis urvillii</i> species of fish

Pseudaphritis urvillii is the only species of fish in the family Pseudaphritidae and the genus Pseudaphritis. It is known also as the congolli or the tupong. It was initially classified as a member of the family Bovichtidae.

Antarctic fishes

Antarctic fish is a common name for a variety of fish that inhabit the Southern Ocean. There are relatively few families in this region, the most species-rich being the Liparidae (snailfishes), followed by Nototheniidae. The latter is one of five different families that belong to the suborder Notothenioidei of the order Perciformes. The other four are Artedidraconidae, Bathydraconidae, Channichthyidae and Harpagiferidae. They are also called notothenioids, but this name is also used to describe the other three, non-Antarctic families and some of the non-Antarctic genera in the mainly Antarctic families belonging to the suborder.


Callionymiformes is an order of bony fish containing two families, the dragonets Callionymidae and the Draconettidae. In some taxonomies these families make up the suborder Callionymoidei of the wider grouping known as Perciformes, Nelson (2016) recognised the order but subsequent workers have suggested that if Callionymiformes is recognised as an order then the order Syngnathiformes is rendered paraphyletic and include Callionmyoidei within that taxon.

Scombriformes order of fishes

Scombriformes is an order of bony fish containing nine families which were classified under the suborders Scombroidei and Stromateoidei, of the wider grouping known as Perciformes, Nelson (2016) recognised the order but subsequent workers have suggested that Scombriformes forms part of the larger Pelagiaria clade.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System Authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) is an American partnership of federal agencies designed to provide consistent and reliable information on the taxonomy of biological species. ITIS was originally formed in 1996 as an interagency group within the US federal government, involving several US federal agencies, and has now become an international body, with Canadian and Mexican government agencies participating. The database draws from a large community of taxonomic experts. Primary content staff are housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and IT services are provided by a US Geological Survey facility in Denver. The primary focus of ITIS is North American species, but many biological groups exist worldwide and ITIS collaborates with other agencies to increase its global coverage.

  1. 1 2 Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). "Bovichtidae" in FishBase. February 2013 version.
  2. Eastman, Joseph (1993),Pseudaphritidae. Antarctic Fish Biology: Evolution in a Unique Environment. San Diego, California: Academic Press, Inc.
  3. Balushkin, A. V. (1992) "Classification, phylogenetic relationships, and origins of the families of the suborder Notothenioidei (Perciformes)" Journal of Ichthyology 32: pp. 90–110
  4. Lecointre, G. et al. (1997) "Molecular phylogeny of the Antarctic fishes: paraphyly of the Bovichitidae and no indication for the monophyly of the Notothenioidei (Teleostei)" Polar Biology 18: pp. 193–208
  5. Eastman, J. T. & Eakin, R. R. (2000): An updated species list for notothenioid fish(Perciformes; Notothenioidei), with comments on Antarctic species. Archive of Fishery and Marine Research, 48(1), 2000, 11–20