Physical characteristics

The earliest known killifish description is a 600-year-old piece of mother-of-pearl jewelry, one inch long, produced by the Native American Mogollon culture in the recognizable shape of Cyprinodon tularosa, endemic to New Mexico. As a general rule, killifishes and live-bearers are sexually dimorphic and dichromatic. In 1881 Steindachner described male and female Cynolebias bellottii as two different species, the female named appropriately Cynolebias maculatus. Cyprinodon-tiform males and...

Behavior

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of the beryciform fishes is their ability to produce light, and in some cases, readily control it. The light is the result of bioluminescent bacteria that take up residence in pockets just below the skin of various species, including the flashlight, pineapple, and pineconefishes. Other beryciform fishes also have light organs, including members in the genera Sorosichthys and Para-trachichthys. As well as using the light to find and or to attract Hawaiian...

Significance to humans

In some parts of Asia, swamp eels and one species of spiny eel, Mastacembelus erythrotaenia, are valued as food and sometimes are kept in ponds or rice fields. Except for a few mas-tacembelids, they are rarely seen in home aquaria. 1. Fire eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia) 2. Swamp eel (Monopterus albus) 3. Marbled swamp eel (Synbranchus marmoratus) 4. Blind cave eel (Ophisternon candidum). (Illustration by John Megahan)

Evolution and systematics

The first modern definition of the scombroid fishes as a suborder was by Regan in 1909. He clearly separated scombroids from percoid families, such as the jacks (Carangidae) and dol-phinfishes (Coryphaenidae). Regan recognized four divisions within the Scombroidei Trichiuriformes (Gempylidae and Trichiuridae), Scombriformes (Scombridae), Luvariformes (Luvaridae), and Xiphiiformes (Xiphiidae, Istiophoridae, and three fossil families). The suborder was redefined by Collette et al. (1984), and the...

Eelpouts and relatives

Class Actinopterygii Order Perciformes Suborder Zoarcoidei Number of families 9 Photo An ocean pout (Zoarces americanus) in the Gulf of Maine. (Photo by Andrew J. Martinez Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.) The zoarcoids, except for a few cryptic tidepool species, are a relatively obscure group of fishes of unverified affinity. On the basis of overall shape, fin structures, and position, and their ecological preference for living on sea bottoms in cold water, the most primitive...

O

Oarfishes, 4 447-450, 4 448, 4 449, 4 451, 4 452, 4 454 Ocean pouts, 5 309, 5 310, 5 312, 5 313, 5 314, 5 317-318 Ocean sunfishes. See Molas Oceanic whitetip sharks, 4 116, 4 117, 4 120, 4 121 Ocellated snake eels. See Tiger snake eels Ocellated snakeheads, 5 441, 5 442, 5 445 Ocellated waspfishes, 5 167, 5 169 Odacidae. See Rock whitings Odax pullus. See Butterfishes Odontaspididae, 4 131 Odontaspis noronhai, 4 133 Odontaspis taurus. See Sand sharks Odontesthes spp., 5 71 Odontobutidae, 5 373,...

Giant gourami

Osphronemus goramy Lacepede, 1801, Mauritius China Jakarta Batavia , Java, Indonesia. Osphronemus goramy Trichogaster leeri French Gourami g ant German Riesengurami Spanish Gurami gigante, gurami comestible. Largest species of anabantoids up to 23.6 in (60 cm) and 19.8 lb (9 kg). High body, laterally compressed. Lateral line not interrupted and nearly straight. Dorsal fin has 11-14 spines and 12-14 soft rays. Anal fin has 10-11 spines and 20-23 soft rays. First soft ray of pelvic fin is very...

Dentatherina Merceri

See Common daces Dactyloptena spp., 5 157 g Dactyloptena orientalis. See Oriental helmet X gurnards Dactylopteridae. See Flying gurnards Dactylopteroidei. See Flying gurnards Dactylopterus spp., 5 157 Dactylopterus volitans. See Sea robins Dactylopus spp. See Young fingered dragonets Dactylopus dactylopus. See Young fingered dragonets Dactyloscopidae, 5 341 Dactyloscopus tridigitatus. See Sand stargazers Daector spp., 5 41-42 Dagaa, 4 303, 4 323, 4 316-317, 5 281 Dagetella spp., 4 209...

Siamese fighting fish

Betta splendens Regan, 1910, Menam River Mae Nam Chao Phraya , Thailand. English Betta French Combatant, combattant du Siam German Siamesischer Kampffisch Spanish Combatiente siam s. Up to 2.4 in (6 cm). Elongate cylindrical body, dorsal fin short with one to two spines and seven to 10 soft rays. Anal fin is long with two to five spines and 21-26 soft rays, caudal fin rounded. First soft ray of pelvic fin elongated. Sexually dimorphic males have larger fins and a brighter coloration, females...

Blennies

Class Actinopterygii Order Perciformes Suborder Blennioidei Number of families 6 Photo A mimic blenny (Aspidontus taeniatus) peers out from a wormhole in coral near the Florida Islands, Solomon Islands. (Photo by Fred Mc-Connaughey Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.) The suborder Blennioidei has a long and convoluted history of classification, with a variety of families historically being moved into and out of the suborder. Stability finally was established for the suborder when...

Reproductive biology

In the poeciliines, as the male matures, the anal fin is modified into a gonopodium at the juvenile stage there is no difference between the male and female anal fin. The gonopodium serves as a launching platform for sperm bundles called spermatozeugmata. In mating the gonopodium is swung forward in a vertical plane and thrust at the female genital opening so as to deposit the sperm bundles either near or inside the opening. The end of the gonopodium has hooklike structures to facilitate the...

Library Of Congress Cataloginginpublication Data

English Grzimek's animal life encyclopedia. 2nd ed. v. cm. Includes bibliographical references. Contents v. 1. Lower metazoans and lesser deuterosomes Neil Schlager, editor v. 2. Protostomes Neil Schlager, editor v. 3. Insects Neil Schlager, editor v. 4-5. Fishes I-II Neil Schlager, editor v. 6. Amphibians Neil Schlager, editor v. 7. Reptiles Neil Schlager, editor v. 8-11. Birds I-IV Donna Olendorf, editor v. 12-16. Mammals I-V Melissa C. McDade, editor v. 17....

Feeding ecology and diet

Surfperches feed variously on shrimps, amphipods, crabs, and other crustaceans, as well as mollusks and worms. To feed on such organisms, many surfperches take indiscriminate bites out of the algae and debris found on the bottom, and then winnow out their invertebrate prey within the oropharyngeal cavity, spitting out the remainder. The small kelp perch (Brachyistius frenatus) feeds largely on ectoparasites picked off other fishes, and several other surfperches supplement their regular diets by...

T

Taaningichthys spp., 4 442 Tabbigaws. See Port Jackson sharks Tactostoma macropus, 4 422 Tadpole sculpins, 5 181 Taeniura lymma. See Blue-spotted stingrays Tailors. See Bluefishes Taisho sanshoku, 4 299 Takifugu spp. See Fugus Takifugu rubripes. See Fugus Talking catfishes, 4 352 Tambaqui, 4 339 Tampico cichlids, 5 275 Tandan catfishes, 4 352 Tanganyika killifishes. See Tanganyika pearl lampeyes Tanganyika pearl killifishes. See Tanganyika pearl lampeyes Tanganyika pearl lampeyes, 5 93, 5 95, 5...

Habitat

Flatfishes occur nearly globally in marine habitats and occupy diverse bathymetric environments, ranging from shal low-water to deep-water habitats to about 6,560 ft (2,000 m). Relatively few species inhabit freshwater environments. The greatest diversity of flatfishes, about 74 of the known species, is found in habitats ranging from near shore to depths of about 328 ft (100 m) on the continental shelf. The majority of flatfishes occur in shallow marine waters, in coastal areas and estuaries,...