The Geographical Distribution of Animals/Chapter 20



Sub-class I.—TELEOSTEI.


Family 1.—GASTEROSTEIDÆ. (1 Genus, 11 Species.)

"Fresh-water or marine scaleless fishes, with elongate compressed bodies and with isolated spines before the dorsal fin."

Distribution.—Palæarctic and Nearctic regions.

The species of Gasterosteus, commonly called Sticklebacks, are found in rivers, lakes, estuaries, and seas, as far south as Italy and Ohio. Four species occur in Britain.

Family 2.—BERYCIDÆ. (10 Genera, 55 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with elevated compressed bodies covered with toothed scales, and large eyes."

Distribution.—Tropical and temperate seas of both hemispheres.

Their northern limit is the Mediterranean and Japan. Most abundant in the Malayan seas.

Family 3.—PERCIDÆ. (61 Genera, 476 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water carnivorous fishes, with oblong bodies covered with toothed scales."

Distribution.—Seas, rivers and lakes, of all regions.

The genera which inhabit fresh-waters are the following:—

Perca (3 sp.), inhabits the Nearctic and Palæarctic regions as far south as Ohio and Switzerland; one species, the common perch, is British. Percichthys (5 sp.), Chili and Patagonia, with one species in Java; Paralabrax (2 sp.), California; Labrax (8 sp.), six species are marine, inhabiting the shores of Europe and North America, one being British, two species inhabit the rivers of the northern United States; Lates (2 sp.), Nile and large rivers of India and China; Acerina (3 sp.), Europe, from England to Russia and Siberia; Percarina (1 sp.), River Dniester; Lucioperca (6 sp.), North America and Europe; Pileoma (2 sp.), North America, Texas to Lake Erie; Boleosoma (3 sp.), Texas to Lake Superior; Aspro (2 sp.), Central Europe; Huro (1 sp.), Lake Huron; Percilia, (1 sp.), Rio de Maypu in Chili; Centrarchus (10 sp.), North America and Cuba; Bryttus (8 sp.), South Carolina to Texas; Pomotis (8 sp.), North America, Lake Erie to Texas.

Of the exclusively marine genera a species of Polyprion and one of Serranus are British. The latter genus has nearly 150 species spread over the globe, but is most abundant in the Tropics. Mesoprion is another extensive genus confined to the Tropics. Apogon abounds from the Red Sea to the Pacific, but has one species in the Mediterranean and one in the coast of Brazil.

Family 4.—APHREDODERIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"Fresh-water fish, with oblong body covered with toothed scales, and wide cleft mouth."

Distribution.—Atlantic States of North America.

Family 5.—PRISTIPOMATIDÆ. (25 Genera, 206 Species.)

"Marine carnivorous fishes, with compressed oblong bodies, and without molar or cutting teeth."

Distribution.—Seas of temperate and tropical regions, a few only entering fresh water.

Of the more extensive genera, nine, comprising more than half the species, are confined to the Indian and Australian seas, while only one large genus (Hæmulon) is found in the Atlantic on the coast of Tropical America. The extensive Pacific genus, Diagramma, has one species in the Mediterranean. One genus is confined to the Macquarie River in Australia. A species of Dentex has occurred on the English coast, and this seems to be the extreme northern range of the family, which does not regularly extend beyond the coast of Portugal, and in the East to Japan. Australia seems to form the southern limit.

Family 6.—MULLIDÆ. (5 Genera, 34 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with elongate slightly compressed bodies covered with large scales, and two dorsal fins at a distance from each other."

Distribution.—All tropical seas, except the West Coast of America, extending into temperate regions as far as the Baltic, Japan, and New Zealand.

Two species of Mullus (Mullets) are British, and these are the only European fish belonging to the family.

Family 7.—SPARIDÆ. (22 Genera, 117 Species.)

"Herbivorous or carnivorous marine fishes, with oblong compressed bodies covered with minutely serrated scales, and with one dorsal fin."

Distribution.—Seas of temperate and tropical regions, a few entering rivers.

Cantharus, Pagellus, and Chrysophrys, have occurred on the English Coast. Haplodactylus is confined to the West Coast of South America, and Australia; Sargus to the temperate and warm parts of the Atlantic and the shores of East Africa; Pagellus to the western coasts of Europe and Africa.

The other large genera have a wider distribution.

Family 8.—SQUAMIPENNES. (12 Genera, 124 Species.)

"Carnivorous marine fishes, with compressed and elevated bodies, and scaly vertical fins."

Distribution.—The seas between the tropics, most abundant in the Oriental and Australian regions, a few entering rivers or extending beyond the tropics.

The extensive genus Chætodon (67 sp.), ranges from the Red Sea to the Sandwich Islands, and from Japan to Western Australia, while two species are found in the West Indies. Holacanthus (36 sp.), has a similar distribution, one species only occurring in the West Indies and on the coast of South America. Only one genus (Pomacanthus), with a single species, is confined to the West Atlantic.

Family 9.—CIRRHITIDÆ. (8 Genera, 34 Species.)

"Carnivorous marine fishes, with a compressed oblong body, covered with cycloid scales."

Distribution.—The tropical and south temperate waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, from Eastern Africa to Western America. Absent from the Atlantic.

Family 10.—TRIGLIDÆ. (50 Genera, 259 Species.)

"Carnivorous, mostly marine fishes, with oblong compressed or subcylindrical bodies, and wide cleft mouths. They live at the bottom of the water."

Distribution.—All seas, some entering fresh water, and a few inhabiting exclusively the fresh waters of the Arctic regions.

They are divided by Dr. Günther into four groups. The Heterolepidina (comprising 4 genera and 12 species) are confined to the North Pacific. The Scorpænina (23 genera, 113 species) have an almost universal distribution, but the genera are each restricted to one or other of the great oceans. Sebastes has occurred on the English coast. The Cottina (28 genera, 110 species) have also a universal distribution; the numerous species of Cottus are found either in the seas or fresh waters of Europe and North America; four species are British, as well as seven species of the wide-spread genus Trigla. Ptyonotus (1 sp.) is confined to Lake Ontario. The Cataphracti (5 genera, 23 species) have also a wide range; one genus, Agonus, is found in the British seas, and also in Kamschatka and on the coast of Chili. Peristethus is also British.

Family 11.—TRACHINIDÆ (24 Genera, 90 Species.)

"Carnivorous marine fishes, with elongate bodies, living at the bottom, near the shore."

Distribution.—Almost or quite universal.

Trachinus is a British genus. A species of Aphritis inhabits the fresh waters of Tasmania, while its two allies are found on the coasts of Patagonia.

Family 12. SCIÆNIDÆ. (13 Genera, 102 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water fishes, with compressed and rather elongate bodies, covered with toothed scales."

Distribution.—Temperate and tropical regions, but absent from Australia.

Larimus is found in the Atlantic, and in African and American rivers. Corvina, Sciæna, and Otilothus are also marine and fresh-water, both in the Atlantic and Pacific. The other genera are of small extent and more restricted range. Umbrina and Sciæna have occurred in British seas.

Family 13.—POLYNEMIDÆ. (3 Genera, 23 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water fishes, with compressed oblong bodies and entire or ciliated scales."

Distribution.—Tropical seas and rivers of both the great oceans, but most abundant in the Pacific.

Family 14.—SPHYRENIDÆ. (1 Genus, 15 Species.)

"Carnivorous marine fishes, with elongate sub-cylindrical bodies covered with small cycloid scales."

Distribution.—The warm and tropical seas of the globe.

Family 15.—TRICHIURIDÆ. (7 Genera, 18 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with elongate compressed bodies covered with minute scales or naked."

Distribution.—All the tropical and sub-tropical seas.

Family 16.—SCOMBRIDÆ. (20 Genera, 108 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with elongate compressed bodies, scaled or naked."

Distribution.—All the temperate and tropical oceans. Mostly inhabiting the open seas.

Scomber, (the Mackerel) Thynnus, Naucrates, Zeus, Centrolophus, Brama, and Lampris, are genera which have occurred in the British seas.

Family 17.—CARANGIDÆ. (27 Genera, 171 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with compressed oblong or elevated bodies covered with small scales or naked."

Distribution.—All temperate and tropical seas; some species occur in both the great oceans, ranging from New York to Australia.

Trachurus and Capros are genera which occur in British seas.

Family 18.—XIPHIIDÆ. (2 Genera, 8 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with elongate compressed body and a produced sword-shaped upper jaw."

Distribution.—Mediterranean, and open seas between or near the Tropics.

Xiphias (the Sword-fish) has occurred on the English coast.

Family 19.—GOBIIDÆ. (24 Genera, 294 Species.)

"Carnivorous fishes, with elongate low, naked, or scaly bodies, living at the bottom of the shallow seas or fresh waters of temperate or tropical regions. Individuals of the same species often differ in inhabiting exclusively fresh or salt water."

Distribution.—All temperate and tropical regions, from Scotland and Japan to New Zealand. Species of Gobius, Latrunculus, and Callionymus occur in Britain. Several genera are confined to the East Indian seas and rivers, but none seem peculiar to America. The genus Periopthalmus consists of the curious, large-headed, projecting-eyed fishes, so abundant on the muddy shores of African and Eastern tidal rivers, and which seem to spend most of their time out of water, hunting after insects, &c.

Family 20.—DISCOBOLI. (2 Genera, 11 Species.)

"Carnivorous fishes, with oblong naked or tubercular bodies, living at the bottom of shallow seas, and attaching themselves to rocks by means of a ventral disc."

Distribution.—All northern seas, as far south as Belgium, England, and San Francisco.

Species of both genera (Cyclopterus and Liparis) occur in British seas.

Family 21.—OXUDERCIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A marine fish, with an elongate sub-cylindrical body and no ventral fins."

Distribution.—Macao, China.

Family 22.—BATRACHIDÆ. (3 Genera, 12 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with sub-cylindrical body and broad depressed head."

Distribution.—The coasts of nearly all tropical and south temperate regions, ranging from New York and Portugal to Chili and Tasmania.

Family 23.—PEDICULATI. (8 Genera, 40 Species.)

"Marine carnivorous fishes, with very large heads and without scales."

Distribution.—Seas of all temperate and tropical regions, extending south to New Zealand and north to Greenland.

A species of Lophius (the Fishing-frog or Sea-Devil) is found in British seas. The genus Antennarius, comprising two-thirds of the species, is wholly tropical.

Family 24.—BLENNIDÆ. (33 Genera, 201 Species.)

"Carnivorous fishes, with long sub-cylindrical naked bodies, living at the bottom of shallow water in seas, or tidal rivers."

Distribution.—All seas from the Arctic regions to New Zealand, Chili, and the Cape of Good Hope.

Species of Anarrhichas, Blennius, Blenniops, Centronotus and Zoarces occur in British seas. Chasmodes (3 sp.) is confined to the Atlantic coasts of Temperate North America; Petroscirtes (26 sp.) to the tropical parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans; and Stichæus (9 sp.) to the Arctic Seas.

Family 25.—ACANTHOCLINIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A carnivorous marine fish, with long flat body and very long dorsal fin."

Distribution.—Coasts of New Zealand.

Family 26.—COMEPHORIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"An elongate, naked, large-headed fish, with two dorsal fins."

Distribution.—Lake Baikal.

Dr. Günther remarks, that this fish approaches the Scombrina (Mackerel) in several characters. These are exclusively marine fishes, while Lake Baikal is fresh-water, and is situated among mountains, at an elevation of nearly 2000 feet, and more than a thousand miles from the ocean!

Family 27.—TRACHYPTERIDÆ. (3 Genera, 16 Species.)

"Deep sea fishes, with elongate, much compressed, naked bodies."

Distribution.—Europe, East Indies, West Coast of South America, New Zealand. Dr. Günther remarks, that little is known of these fishes, from their being so seldom thrown on shore, and then rapidly decomposing. The Ribbon-fish (Regalecus banksii) has occurred frequently on our shores. They have soft bones and muscles, small mouths, and weak dentition.

Family 28.—LOPHOTIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A marine fish, with elongate compressed naked body, and high crested head."

Distribution.—Mediterranean Sea and Japan.

Family 29.—TEUTHIDIDÆ. (1 Genus, 29 Species.)

"Marine, herbivorous fishes, with compressed, oblong, small-scaled bodies."

Distribution.—Eastern tropical seas, from Bourbon and the Red Sea to the Marianne and Fiji Islands.

Family 30.—ACRONURIDÆ. (5 Genera, 64 Species.)

"Marine, herbivorous fishes, with compressed, minutely-scaled bodies."

Distribution.—All tropical seas, but most abundant in the Malay region, and extending to Japan and New Zealand.

Family 31.—HOPLEGNATHIDÆ. (1 Genus, 3 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with compressed elevated bodies, covered with very small toothed scales."

Distribution.—Seas of Australia, China, and Japan.

Family 32.—MALACANTHIDÆ. (1 Genus, 3 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with elongate bodies covered with very small scales, and with very long dorsal and anal fins."

Distribution.—Atlantic coasts of Tropical America, Mauritius, and New Guinea.

Family 33.—NANDIDÆ. (6 Genera, 14 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water carnivorous fishes, with oblong, compressed, scaly bodies."

Distribution.—From the Red Sea to the coasts of China and Australia; and the fresh waters of the Neotropical and Oriental regions. Badis, Nandus, and Catopra inhabit the rivers of India and the Malay Islands; Acharnes the rivers of British Guiana.

Family 34.—POLYCENTRIDÆ. (2 Genera, 3 Species.)

"Fresh-water carnivorous fishes, with compressed elevated scaly bodies, and many-spined dorsal and anal fins."

Distribution.—Rivers of Tropical America.

Family 35.—LABYRINTHICI. (9 Genera, 25 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with compressed oblong bodies, and capable of living for some time out of water or in dried mud."

Distribution.—Fresh waters of South Africa and the East Indies from the Mauritius to China, the Philippines, Celebes, and Amboyna.

Family 36.—LUCIOCEPHALIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"Fresh-water fish, with elongate scaled body, and a dilated branchial membrane."

Distribution.—Rivers of Borneo, Biliton, and Banca.

Family 37.—ATHERINIDÆ. (3 Genera, 39 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water carnivorous fishes, with subcylindrical scaled bodies, and feeble dentition."

Distribution.—All temperate and tropical seas, from Scotland and New York to the Straits of Magellan and Tasmania.

Atherina presbyter occurs in British seas. Species of Atherina and Atherinichthys are found in fresh-water lakes and rivers in Europe, America, and Australia.

Family 38.—MUGILIDÆ. (3 Genera, 78 Species.)

"Fresh-water and marine fishes, with oblong compressed bodies, cycloid scales, and small mouths, often without teeth."

Distribution.—Coasts and fresh waters of all temperate and tropical regions.

Mugil (66 sp.) is mostly marine, and is very widely distributed; several species (Grey Mullets) occur on the British coasts. Agonostoma (9 sp.) is confined to the fresh waters of the West Indies, Central America, New Zealand, Australia, Celebes, and the Comoro Islands. Myxus (3 sp.) is marine, and occurs both in the Atlantic and Pacific.

Family 39.—OPHIOCEPHALIDÆ. (2 Genera, 26 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with elongate subcylindrical scaled bodies; often leaving the water for a considerable time."

Distribution.—Rivers of the Oriental region:—India, Ceylon, China, Malay Islands to Philippines and Borneo.

Family 40.—TRICHONOTIDÆ. (2 Genera, 2 Species.)

"Marine carnivorous fishes, with elongate subcylindrical bodies, cycloid scales, and eyes directed upwards."

Distribution.—Coasts of Celebes, Ceram, and New Zealand.

Family 41.—CEPOLIDÆ. (1 Genus, 7 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with very long, compressed, band-like bodies, covered with small cycloid scales."

Distribution.—Temperate seas of Western Europe and Eastern Asia, and one species in the Malayan Seas.

Cepola rubescens (the Band fish) ranges from Scotland to the Mediterranean. All the other species but one are from Japan.

Family 42.—GOBIESOCIDÆ. (9 Genera, 21 Species.)

"Carnivorous marine fishes, elongate, anteriorly depressed and scaleless, with dorsal fin on the tail."

Distribution.—Temperate and tropical seas; Scandinavia to the Cape, California to Chili, West Indies, Red Sea, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji Islands.

Three species of Lepadogaster have occurred in the English Channel.

Family 43.—PSYCHROLUTIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A large-headed, elongate, naked marine fish, with small teeth, and dorsal fin on the tail."

Distribution.—West Coast of North America (Vancouver's Island.)

Family 44.—CENTRISCIDÆ. (2 Genera, 7 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with compressed, oblong or elevated bodies, elongate tubular mouth and no teeth."

Distribution.—West Coast of Europe and Africa, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean to Java, Philippines, and Japan.

A species of Centriscus has occurred on the South Coast of England, and another species is found both at Madeira and Japan.

Family 45.—FISTULARIDÆ. (2 Genera, 4 Species.)

"Marine fishes, very elongate, with long tubular mouth and small teeth."

Distribution.—Tropical seas, both in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, and as far east as the New Hebrides.

Family 46.—MASTACEMBELIDÆ. (2 Genera, 9 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with eel-like bodies and very long dorsal fin."

Distribution.—Rivers of the Oriental region, one species from Ceram (?).

Family 47.—NOTACANTHI. (1 Genus, 5 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with elongate bodies covered with very small scales, and snout protruding beyond the mouth."

Distribution.—Greenland, Mediterranean, and West Australia.


Family 48.—POMACENTRIDÆ. (8 Genera, 143 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with short compressed bodies covered with toothed scales, and with feeble dentition."

Distribution.—Tropical parts of Pacific and Indian Ocean, less numerous in Tropical Atlantic, a few reaching the Mediterranean, Japan, and South Australia. Pomacentrus, Glyphidodon, and Heliastes are Atlantic genera.

Family 49.—LABRIDÆ. (46 Genera, 396 Species.)

"Herbivorous or carnivorous marine fishes, with elongate bodies covered with cycloid scales, and teeth adapted for crushing the shells of mollusca."

Distribution.—Temperate and tropical regions of all parts of the globe.

The genera Labrus, Crenilabrus, Ctenolabrus, Acantholabrus, Centrolabrus, and Coris, have occurred in British seas, and all of these, except the last, are confined to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic as far as Madeira. Eight other genera are characteristic of the Atlantic, most of them being West Indian, but one from the coasts of North America. Seven genera are common to all the great oceans; the remainder being confined to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, ranging from Japan to New Zealand, but being far more abundant between the Tropics.

Family 50.—EMBROTOCIDÆ. (2 Genera, 17 Species.)

"Marine viviparous fishes, with compressed elevated bodies covered with cycloid scales, and with small teeth."

Distribution.—Pacific Ocean from Japan and California northwards. One species enters the fresh waters of California.

Family 51.—GERRIDÆ. (1 Genus, 28 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with compressed oblong bodies covered with minutely serrated scales, and with small teeth."

Distribution.—Tropical seas; ranging south as far as the Cape of Good Hope and Australia, and north to Japan and (one species) to New Jersey, U.S.

Family 52.—CHROMIDÆ. (19 Genera, 100 Species.)

"Fresh-water herbivorous or carnivorous fishes, with elevated or elongate scaly bodies, and small teeth."

Distribution.—The Oriental, Ethiopian, and Neotropical regions.

Eutroplus (2 sp.) is from the rivers of Southern India and Ceylon; Chromis (15 sp.), Sarotherodon (2 sp.), and Hemichromis (4 sp.), are from the rivers and lakes of Africa, extending to the Sahara and Palestine. The remaining 15 genera are American, and several of them have a restricted distribution. Acara (17 sp.) inhabits Tropical South America and the Antilles; Theraps (1 sp.), Guatemala; Heros (26 sp.), Texas and Mexico to La Plata; Mesonauta (1 sp.), Brazil; Petenia (1 sp.), Lake Peten, Guatemala; Uaru (2 sp.), Brazil; Hygrogonus (1 sp.), Brazil; Cichla (4 sp.), Equatorial America; Crenicichla (9 sp.), Brazil and Guiana; Chætobranchus (3 sp.), Brazil and Guiana; Mesops (2 sp.), Brazil; Satanoperca (7 sp.), Amazon Valley and Guiana; Geophagus (1 sp.), North Brazil and Guiana; Symphysodon (1 sp.), Lower Amazon; Pterophyllum (1 sp.), Lower Amazon.


Family 53.—GADOPSIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"Fresh-water fish, with rather elongate body covered with very small scales, the upper jaw overhanging the lower, forming an obtuse snout."

Distribution.—Rivers of Australia and Tasmania.

Family 53a.—LYCODIDÆ. (3 Genera, 14 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with elongate bodies, and the dorsal united with the anal fin."

Distribution.—Arctic seas of America and Greenland, and Antarctic seas about the Falkland Islands and Chiloe Island.

Family 54.—GADIDÆ. (21 Genera, 58 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with more or less elongate bodies covered with small smooth scales."

Distribution.—Cold and temperate regions of both hemispheres; in the North extending as far south as the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, New York and Japan (and one species to the Philippines and Bay of Bengal), and in the South to Chili and New Zealand.

Gadus (Cod), Merluccius (Hake), Phycis, Lota, Molva, Couchia, Motella, and Raniceps, are British. Lota inhabits fresh waters.

Family 55.—OPHIDIIDÆ. (16 Genera, 43 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with more or less elongate bodies, the dorsal and anal fins united, and the ventral fins rudimentary or absent."

Distribution.—Almost universal; from Greenland to New Zealand, but most abundant in the Tropics.

Ophidium and Ammodytes occur in British seas; Lucifuga inhabits subterranean fresh waters in Cuba.

Family 56.—MACROURIDÆ. (3 Genera, 21 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with the body terminating in a long, compressed tapering tail, and covered with spiny, keeled or striated scales."

Distribution.—North Atlantic from Greenland to Madeira and the Canary Islands, Mediterranean, Japanese and Australian seas.

None of these fishes have occurred in the British seas.

Family 57.—ATELEOPODIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with the naked body terminating in a long compressed, tapering tail."


Family 58.—PLEURONECTIDÆ. (34 Genera, 185 Species.)

"Marine carnivorous fishes, with strongly compressed flat bodies, one side of which is colourless, and eyes unsymmetrically placed, both on the coloured side. They inhabit the sandy bottoms of shallow seas, and often ascend rivers."

Distribution.—Universal, on Arctic, Temperate, and Tropical coasts.

Seven genera occur in British seas, viz.: Hippoglossus, Hippoglossoides, Rhombus, Phrynorhombus, Arnoglossus, Pleuronectes (Turbot), and Solea (Sole). There are 13 genera in the Atlantic and 23 in the Pacific, 4 being common to both; and 2 found only in the Mediterranean. A Pacific genus, Synaptura, has one species in the Mediterranean.


Family 59.—SILURIDÆ. (114 Genera, 547 Species.)

"Fresh-water or marine, scaleless fishes, often with bony shields, and the head always furnished with barbels."

Distribution.—The fresh waters of all the temperate and tropical regions, those which enter the salt water keeping near the coast.

This extensive family is divided by Dr. Günther into eight sub-families and seventeen groups, the distribution of which is as follows:—

Sub-family 1 (Siluridæ Homalopteræ) is confined to the Old World. It consists of three groups: Clarina (2 genera, Clarias and Heterobranchus) ranges over the whole area of the Ethiopian and Oriental regions, to which it appears to be strictly confined; Plotosina (3 genera, Plotosus, Copidoglanis, and Cnidoglanis) ranges from the eastern coasts of Africa to Japan, Polynesia, and Australia, in seas and rivers; Chacina (1 genus, Chaca) ranges from India to Borneo.

Sub-family 2 (Siluridæ Heteropteræ) is also confined to the Old World; it consists of one group,—Silurina, containing 19 genera, viz.:—Saccobranchus (4 sp.), India to Cochin China and Ceylon; Silurus (5 sp.), Palæarctic region from Central Europe to Japan, China, and Afghanistan, and a species in Cochin China; Silurichthys (3 sp.), Cashmere, Java, and Borneo; Wallago (2 sp.), Hindostan, Sumatra, and Borneo; Belodontichthys (1 sp.), Sumatra and Borneo; Eutropiichthys (1 sp.), Bengal; Cryptopterus (15 sp.), Java, Sumatra, and Borneo, with a species in the Ganges, in Siam, and (?) in Amboyna; Callichrous (10 sp.), Afghanistan to Borneo and Java; Schilbe (5 sp.), Tropical Africa; Eutropius (6 sp.), Tropical Africa and Central India; Hemisilurus (2 sp.), Java and Sumatra; Siluranodon (1 sp.), Nile; Ailia (2 sp.), Bengal; Schilbichthys (1 sp.), Bengal; Laïs (1 sp.), Java, Sumatra, Borneo; Pseudeutropius (6 sp.), India and Sumatra; Pangasius (7 sp.), Ganges, Sumatra, Java, Borneo; Helicophagus (2 sp.), Sumatra; Silondia (1 sp.), Ganges.

Sub-family 3 (Siluridæ Anomalopteræ) is confined to Equatorial America; it consists of the group Hypopthalmina, containing 2 genera: Helogenes (1 sp.), Hypopthalmus (4 sp.), from the country north of the Amazon, Surinam, and the Rio Negro.

Sub-family 4 (Siluridæ Proteropteræ) ranges over all the tropical and most of the temperate parts of the globe, except Europe and Australia. It consists of four groups: Bagrina (16 genera), ranging over most of the Old World and North America; Pimelodina (15 genera), confined to Tropical America, except one genus which is African; Ariina (10 genera), all Tropical regions; and Bagarina (3 genera), Oriental region. The distribution of the genera is as follows:—

Bagrus (2 sp.), Nile; Chrysichthys (5 sp.), Tropical Africa; Clarotes (1 sp.), Upper Nile; Macrones (19 sp.), India, Ceylon to Borneo, and one species in Asia Minor; Pseudobagrus (4 sp.), Japan, China, and Cochin China; Liocassis (5 sp.), Japan, China, Java, Sumatra, and Borneo; Bagroides (3 sp.), Sumatra and Borneo; Bagrichthys (1 sp.), Sumatra and Borneo; Rita (5 sp.), Continental India and Manilla; Acrochordonichthys (6 sp.), Java and Sumatra; Akysis (3 sp.), Java and Sumatra; Olyra (1 sp.), Khasya; Branchiosteus (1 sp.), Khasya; Amiurus (13 sp.), Nearctic region to Guatemala and China; Hopladelus (1 sp.), North America; Noturus (4 sp.), North America; Sorubim (1 sp.), Amazon; Platystoma (11 sp.), Tropical South America; Hemisorubim (1 sp.) Rio Negro, Brazil; Platistomatichthys (1 sp.), Rio Branco, Brazil; Phractocephalus (1 sp.), Amazon; Piramutana (2 sp.), Equatorial America; Platynematichthys (1 sp.), northern and southern tributaries of Amazon; Piratinga (3 sp.), Amazon Valley; Sciades (2 sp.), Amazon; Pimelodus (42 sp.), Mexico to La Plata, single aberrant species from West Africa, Java and the Sandwich Islands; Pirinampus (1 sp.), Brazil; Conorhynchus (1 sp.), Brazil; Notoglanis (1 sp.), Madeira, Amazon Valley; Callophysus (3 sp.), Tropical South America; Auchenaspis (1 sp.), Tropical Africa; Arius (68 sp.), all Tropical regions; Galeichthys (1 sp.), Cape of Good Hope; Genidens (1 sp.), Brazil; Hemipimelodus (3 sp.), India, Sumatra, and Borneo; Ketingus (1 sp.), Sunda Islands; Ælurichthys (4 sp.), Eastern United States to Guiana; Paradiplomystax (1 sp.), Brazil; Diplomystax (1 sp.), Chili; Osteogeniosus (3 sp.), India to Java; Batrachocephalus (1 sp.), Java and Sumatra; Bagarius (1 sp.), India to Java; Euclyptosternum (1 sp.), India; Glyptosternum (8 sp.), Himalayas, Central India, Java, and Sumatra; Hara (3 sp.), Continental India; Amblyceps (3 sp.), Continental India.

Sub-family 5 (Siluridæ Stenobranchiæ) is confined to South America and Africa, with one genus and species in the Ganges. It consists of three groups: Doradina (12 genera), South America and Africa; Rhinoglanina (3 genera), Central Africa and the Ganges; Malapterurina (1 genus), Tropical Africa. The distribution of the genera is as follows:—

Ageniosus (4 sp.), Surinam to La Plata; Tetranematichthys (1 sp.), Central Brazil, Rio Guaporé; Euanemus (1 sp.), Surinam and Brazil; Auchenipterus (9 sp.), Equatorial America; Centromochlus (2 sp.), Equatorial America; Trachelyopterus (2 sp.), Equatorial America; Cetopsis (3 sp.), Brazil; Asterophysus (1 sp.), Rio Negro, North Brazil; Doras (13 sp.), Tropical South America east of Andes; Oxydoras (7 sp.), Amazon Valley and Guiana; Rhinodoras (3 sp.), Tropical South America east of Andes; Synodontis (12 sp.), Tropical Africa; Rhinoglanis (1 sp.), Upper Nile; Mochocus (1 sp.), Nile; Callomystax (1 sp.), Nile; Malapterurus (3 sp.), Tropical Africa.

Sub-family 6 (Siluridæ Proteropodes) inhabits Tropical America and Northern India as far as Tenasserim. It consists of two groups: the Hypostomatina (17 genera), with the same distribution as the sub-family, and the Aspredinina (3 genera), confined to Equatorial America. The distribution of the genera is as follows:—

Arges (2 sp.), Andes of Peru and Ecuador; Stygogenes (2 sp.), Andes; Brontes (1 sp.), Andes; Astroblepus (1 sp.), Popayan; Callichthys (11 sp.), Tropical South America east of Andes, and Trinidad; Plecostomus (15 sp.), Tropical South America east of Andes, and Trinidad; Liposarcus (3 sp.), Surinam and Brazil; Chætostomus (25 sp.), Tropical America, Trinidad, and Porto Rico; Pterygoplichthys (4 sp.), Brazil; Rhinelepis (1 sp.), Brazil; Acanthicus (2 sp.), Equatorial America; Loricaria (17 sp.), Tropical South America east of Andes; Acestra (4 sp.), Brazil and Guiana; Sisor (1 sp.), Northern Bengal; Erethistes (1 sp.), Assam; Pseudecheneis (1 sp.), Khasya Hills; Exostoma (2 sp.), Assam and Tenasserim; Bunocephalus (2 sp.), Guiana; Bunocephalichthys (1 sp.), Rio Branco, North Brazil; Aspredo (6 sp.), Guiana.

Sub-family 7 (Siluridæ Opisthopteræ) consists of two groups: Nematogenyina (2 genera), and Trichomycterina (3 genera), and is confined to South America. The distribution of the genera is as follows:—

Heptapterus (2 sp.), South America; Nematogenys (1 sp.), Chili; Trichomycterus (7 sp.), South America to 15,000 feet elevation; Eremophilus (1 sp.), Andes of Bogota; Pariodon (1 sp.), Amazon.

Sub-family 8 (Siluridæ Branchicolæ) is confined to Tropical South America. It consists of one group, Stegophilina, and 2 genera: Stegophilus (1 sp.), Brazil; and Vandellia (2 sp.), Amazon Valley.

Family 60. CHARACINIDÆ. (47 Genera, 230 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with scaly bodies and without barbels."

Distribution.—The Neotropical and Ethiopian regions.

This extensive family is divided by Dr. Günther into 10 groups, viz.: Erythrinina (5 genera), South America; Curumatina (6 genera), South America; Citharinina (1 genus), Tropical Africa; Anostomatina (3 genera), South America; Tetragonopterina (16 genera), South America and Tropical Africa; Hydrocyonina (9 genera), Tropical America and Tropical Africa; Distichodontina (1 genus), Tropical Africa; Ichthyborina (1 genus), Africa; Crenuchina (1 genus), Equatorial America; Serrasalmonina (4 genera), South America.

The following is the distribution of the genera:—

Macrodon (4 sp.), Tropical America; Erythrinus (5 sp.), Brazil and Guiana; Lebiasina (1 sp.), West Equatorial America; Pyrrhulina (1 sp.), Guiana; Corynopoma (4 sp.), Trinidad only; Curimatus (15 sp.), Tropical South America and Trinidad; Prochilodus (12 sp.), South America to the La Plata; Cæntropus (2 sp.), East Equatorial America; Hemiodus (8 sp.), Equatorial America east of Andes; Saccodon (1 sp.), Ecuador; Parodon (1 sp.), Brazil; Citharinus (2 sp.), Tropical Africa; Anostomus (8 sp.), Tropical America; Rhytiodus (2 sp.), Equatorial America; Leporinus (14 sp.), South America East of Andes; Piabucina (2 sp.), Guiana; Alestes (4 sp.), Tropical Africa; Brachyalestes (5 sp.), Tropical Africa; Tetragonopterus (32 sp.), Tropical America; Scissor (1 sp.), South America; Pseudochalceus (1 sp.), West Ecuador; Chirodon (2 sp.), Chili; Chalceus (1 sp.), Guiana; Brycon (10 sp.), South America east of Andes; Chalcinopsis (4 sp.), Central America and Ecuador; Bryconops (2 sp.), Tropical America; Creagrutus (1 sp.), Western Ecuador; Chalcinus (4 sp.), Tropical South America; Gastropelecus (8 sp.), Tropical South America; Piabuca (2 sp.), Equatorial America; Agoniates (1 sp.), Guiana; Anacyrtus (7 sp.), Central and South America; Hystricodon (1 sp.), Equatorial America; Salminus (3 sp.), South America; Hydrocyon (3 sp.), Tropical Africa; Sarcodaces (1 sp.), West Africa; Oligosarcus (1 sp.), Brazil; Xiphorhamphus (7 sp.), South America east of Andes; Xiphostoma (5 sp.), Equatorial America east of Andes; Cynodon (3 sp.), Tropical America East of Andes; Distichodus (7 sp.), Tropical Africa; Ichthyborus (3 sp.), Nile; Crenuchus (1 sp.), Guiana; Mylesinus (1 sp.), Equatorial America; Serrasalmo (13 sp.), Tropical South America east of Andes; Myletes (18 sp.), Tropical South America east of Andes; Catoprion (1. sp.), Brazil and Guiana.

Family 61.—HAPLOCHITONIDÆ. (2 Genera, 3 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with naked or scaly bodies and without barbels."

Distribution.—Temperate South America and South Australia.

The genera are, Haplochiton (2 sp.), Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands; Prototroctes (2 sp.), Southern Australia and New Zealand.

Family 62.—STERNOPTYCHIDÆ. (6 Genera, 12 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with very thin deciduous scales or none, and with a row of phosphorescent spots or organs on the under surface of the body."

Distribution.—Mediterranean and Atlantic.

These are deep-sea fishes found in the Mediterranean sea, and in the deep Atlantic from the coasts of Norway to the Azores and the Tropics.

Family 63.—SCOPELIDÆ. (11 Genera, 47 Species.)

"Marine fishes, somewhat resembling the fresh-water Siluridæ."

Distribution.—Almost universal, but most abundant in warm and tropical seas.

These are deep-sea fishes, abounding in the Mediterranean and the great oceans, a few extending north to near Greenland and south to Tasmania.

Family 64.—STOMIATIDÆ. (4 Genera, 8 Species.)

"Small marine fishes, naked or with very fine scales."

Distribution.—The Mediterranean and Atlantic.

These are deep-sea fishes, ranging from Greenland to beyond the Equator.

Family 65.—SALMONIDÆ (15 Genera, 157 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, many species periodically descending to the sea and a few altogether marine:—Salmon and Trout."

Distribution.—The Palæarctic and Nearctic Regions, and one genus and species in New Zealand. A considerable number of species are confined to single lakes or rivers, others have a wide distribution.

The genera are distributed as follows:—

Salmo (83 sp.), rivers and lakes of the Palæarctic and Nearctic Regions, as far south as Algeria, Asia Minor, the Hindoo-Koosh and Kamschatka, and to about 38° North Latitude in North America, many of the species migratory; Onchorhynchus (8 sp.), American and Asiatic rivers entering the Pacific, as far south as San Francisco and the Amur; Brachymystax (1 sp.), Siberian rivers, from Lake Baikal and the Altai Mountains northwards; Luciotrutta (2 sp.), Caspian Sea and Volga; Plecoglossus (1 sp.), Japan and Formosa; Osmerus (3 sp.), rivers of temperate Europe and North America entering the Atlantic, and one species in California; Thaleichthys (1 sp.), Columbia River, Vancouver's Island; Hypomesus (1 sp.), coasts of California, Vancouver's Island, and North-eastern Asia; Mallotus (1 sp.), coasts of Arctic America from Greenland to Kamschatka; Retropinna (1 sp.), fresh waters of New Zealand; Coregonus (41 sp.), fresh waters of northern parts of temperate Europe, Asia and North America, many of the species migratory: Thymallus (6 sp.), fresh waters of temperate parts of Europe, Asia, and North America; Argentina (4 sp.), Mediterranean and deep seas of Western Europe; Microstoma (2 sp.), Mediterranean, and seas of Greenland; Salarix (2 sp.), China and Japan, in seas and rivers. Salmo, Osmerus, Coregonus, and Thymallus, are British genera.

Family 66.—PERCOPSIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A fresh-water fish covered with toothed scales."

Distribution.—Lake Superior, North America.

Family 67.—GALAXIDÆ. (1 Genus, 12 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with neither scales nor barbels."

Distribution.—The temperate zone of the Southern Hemisphere.

The only genus, Galaxias, is found in New Zealand, Tasmania, and Tierra del Fuego, ranging north as far as Queensland and Chili; and one of the species is absolutely identical in the two regions.

Family 68.—MORMYRIDÆ. (3 Genera, 25 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with scales on the body and tail but not on the head, and no barbels."

Distribution.—The Ethiopian Region.

Most abundant in the Nile, a few from the Gambia, the Congo, and Rovuma. The genera are:—

Mormyrus (1 sp.), Nile, Gambia, West Africa, Mozambique, Rovuma; Hyperopsius (2 sp.), Nile and West Africa; Mormyrops (4 sp.), Nile, West Africa and Mozambique.

Family 69.—GYMNARCHIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, resembling the Mormyridæ, but with tapering finless tail, and neither anal nor ventral fins."

Distribution.—Ethiopian region.

The only genus, Gymnarchus, inhabits the Nile and the rivers of West Africa.

Family 70.—ESOCIDÆ. (1 Genus, 7 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with scaly bodies, no barbels, and dorsal fins situated towards the tail."

Distribution.—The Nearctic and Palæarctic regions.

One species, the Pike (Esox lucius) ranges from Lapland to Turkey, and in America from the Arctic regions to the Albany river; the remainder are American species extending South as far as New Orleans.

Family 71.—UMBRIDÆ. (1 Genus, 2 Species.)

"Small fresh-water scaly fishes, without barbels or adipose fin."

Distribution.—Central Europe and Temperate North America.

Family 72.—SCOMBRESOCIDÆ. (5 Genera, 136 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water fishes, with scaly bodies and a series of keeled scales along each side of the belly."

Distribution.—Temperate and tropical regions.

All the genera have a wide distribution. A species of Belone and one of Scombresox are found on the British coast. The Flying-fishes (Exocetus, 44 sp.), belong to this family. They abound in all tropical seas and extend as far as the Mediterranean and Australia. None of the genera are exclusively fresh-water, but a few species of Belone, and Hemiramphus are found in rivers in various parts of the world.

Family 73.—CYPRINODONTIDÆ. (20 Genera, 106 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, covered with scales, the sexes frequently differing, mostly viviparous."

Distribution.—Southern Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, but most abundant in Tropical America.

The distribution of the genera is as follows:—

Cyprinodon (11 sp.), Italy, North Africa and Western Asia to Persia, also North America from Texas to New York; Fitzroya (1 sp.), Montevideo; Characodon (1 sp.), Central America; Tellia (1 sp.), Alpine pools of the Atlas: Limnurgus (1 sp.), Mexican plateau; Lucania (1 sp.), Texas; Haplochilus (18 sp.), India, Java, Japan, Tropical Africa, Madagascar, and the Seychelle Islands, Carolina to Brazil, Jamaica; Fundulus (17 sp.), North and Central America and Ecuador, Spain and East Africa; Rivulus (3 sp.), Tropical America, Cuba and Trinidad; Orestias (6 sp.), Lake Titacaca, Andes; Jenynsia (1 sp.), Rio Plata; Pseudoxiphophorus (2 sp.), Central America; Belonesox (1 sp.), Central America; Gambusia (8 sp.), Antilles, Central America and Texas; Anableps (3 sp.), Central and Equatorial America; Pœcilia (16 sp.), Antilles, Central and South America; Mollienesia (4 sp.), Louisiana to Mexico; Platypœcilus (1 sp.), Mexico; Girardinus (10 sp.), Antilles and South Carolina to Uruguay; Lepistes (1 sp.), Barbadoes.

Family 74.—HETEROPYGII. (2 Genera, 2 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with posterior dorsal fin, and very small scales."

Distribution.—Fresh waters of the United States.

Amblyopsis (1 sp.) is a blind fish found in the caverns of Kentucky; while Chologastes (1 sp.), which only differs from it in having perfect eyes, is found in ditches in South Carolina.

Family 75.—CYPRINIDÆ. (109 Genera, 790 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, generally scaly, with no adipose fin, and pharyngeal teeth only, the mouth being toothless."

Distribution.—Fresh waters of the Old World and North America, but absent from Australia and South America.

This enormous family is divided by Dr. Günther into fourteen groups, the distribution of which is as follows:—

Catostomina (4 genera), North America and North-east Asia; Cyprinina (39 genera), same range as the family; Rohteichthyina (1 genus), Malay Archipelago; Leptobarbina (1 genus), Malay Archipelago; Rasborina (5 genera), East Africa to China and Borneo; Semiplotina (2 genera), Western Asia; Xenocypridina (3 genera), Eastern Asia; Leuciscina (10 genera), Palæarctic and Nearctic regions; Rhodeina (3 genera), Palæarctic region; Danionina (9 genera), India to China and Japan; Hypophthalmichthyina (1 genus), China; Abramidina (16 genera), same range as the family; Homalopterina (2 genera), India to Java; Cobitidina (10 genera), Palæarctic and Oriental regions.

The following is the distribution of the genera:—

Catostomus (16 sp.), Nearctic region and Eastern Siberia; Moxostoma (2 sp.), Eastern United States; Sclerognathus (5 sp.), Temperate North America to Guatemala, also Northern China; Carpiodes (1 sp.), United States; Cyprinus (2 sp.), Temperate parts of Palæarctic region (1 sp. British); Carassius (3 sp.), Temperate Palæarctic region (1 sp. British); Catla (1 sp.), Continental India; Cirrhina (5 sp.), Continental India to China; Dangila (6 sp.), Java, Sumatra, Borneo; Osteochilus (14 sp.), Siam to Java and Sumatra; Labeo (27 sp.), Tropical Africa and Oriental region; Tylognathus (10 sp.), Syria, India to Java; Abrostomus (2 sp.), South Africa; Discognathus (4 sp.), Syria to India and Java, mostly in mountain streams; Crossochilus (9 sp.), India to Sumatra and Java; Gymnostomus (7 sp.), Continental India; Epalzeorhynchus (1 sp.), Sumatra and Borneo; Capoeta (13 sp.), Western Asia; Barbus (163 sp.), Temperate or Tropical parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa (1 sp. British); Thynnichthys (2 sp.), Pegu, Borneo, and Sumatra; Barbichthys (1 sp.), Java, Sumatra, and Borneo; Amblyrhynchichthys (1 sp.), Sumatra and Borneo; Albulichthys (1 sp.), Sumatra and Borneo; Oreinus (3 sp.), Himalayan region; Schizothorax (13 sp.), Himalayan region and west to Afghanistan and Persia; Ptychobarbus (1 sp.), Thibet; Gymnocypris (1 sp.), loc. unknown; Schizopygopsis (1 sp.), Thibet; Diptychus (1 sp.), Himalayas and Thibet; Aulopyge (1 sp.), Western Asia; Gobio (2 sp.), Temperate Europe (1 sp. British); Pseudogobio (4 sp.), China, Japan, and Formosa; Ceratichthys (9 sp.), Temperate North America; Bungia (1 sp.), Western Asia, Herat; Pimephales (2 sp.), Eastern United States; Hyborhynchus (3 sp.), Eastern United States; Ericymba (1 sp.), United States; Pseudorasbora (1 sp.), Japan, China; Cochlognathus (1 sp.), Texas; Exoglossum (2 sp.), United States; Rhinichthys (6 sp.), Eastern United States; Rohteichthys (1 sp.), Borneo and Sumatra; Leptobarbina (1 sp.), Sumatra and Borneo; Rasbora (12 sp.), East Coast of Africa, India, to Java and Borneo; Luciosoma (3 sp.), Java, Sumatra, and Borneo; Nuria (2 sp.), India, Tenasserim, and Ceylon; Aphyocypris (1 sp.), North China; Amblypharyngodon (3 sp.), India to Tenasserim; Cyprinion (3 sp.), Syria and Persia; Semiplotus (1 sp.), Assam; Xenocypris (1 sp.), China; Paracanthobrama (1 sp.), China; Mystacoleucus (1 sp.), Sumatra; Leuciscus (84 sp.), Nearctic and Palæarctic regions (5 sp. are British); Ctenopharyngodon (1 sp.), China; Mylopharodon (1 sp.), California; Paraphoxinus (2 sp.), South-eastern Europe; Meda (1 sp.), River Gila; Tinca (1 sp.), Europe (Britain to Constantinople); Leucosomus (8 sp.), Nearctic region; Chondrostoma (7 sp.), Europe and Western Asia; Orthodon (1 sp.), California; Acrochilus (1 sp.), Columbia River; Achilognathus (6 sp.), China, Japan, and Formosa; Rhodeus (3 sp.), Central Europe and China; Pseudoperilampus (1 sp.), Japan; Danio (8 sp.), India and Ceylon; Pterosarion (2 sp.), Central India and Assam; Aspidoparia (3 sp.), Continental India; Barilius (15 sp.), East Africa and Continental India; Bola (1 sp.), Ganges to Bramahputra; Schacra (1 sp.), Bengal; Opsariichthys (5 sp.), Japan and Formosa; Squaliobarbus (1 sp.), China; Ochetobius (1 sp.), North China; Hypophthalmichthys (2 sp.), China; Abramis (16 sp.), North America, Central Europe, and Western Asia (1 sp. is British); Aspius (3 sp.), East Europe, Western Asia, China; Alburnus (15 sp.), Europe and Western Asia (1 British sp.); Rasborichthys (1 sp.), Borneo; Elopichthys (1 sp.), China; Pelotrophus (2 sp.), East Africa; Acanthobrama (3 sp.), Western Asia; Osteobrama (5 sp.), Continental India; Chanodichthys (6 sp.), China and Formosa; Smiliogaster (1 sp.), Bengal; Culter (2 sp.), China; Pelecus (1 sp.), Eastern Europe; Eustira (1 sp.), Ceylon; Chela (16 sp.), India to Siam, Java and Borneo; Pseudolabuca (1 sp.), China; Cachius (1 sp.), Continental India; Homaloptera (8 sp.), India to Cochin China, Java, and Sumatra; Psilorhynchus (2 sp.), North-eastern India; Misgurnus (5 sp.), Europe to India, China, and Japan; Nemachilus (37 sp.), Europe and Asia; Cobitis (3 sp.), Europe, India, Japan; Lepidocepalichthys (3 sp.), India, Ceylon, and Java; Acanthopsis (2 sp.), Tenasserim, Sumatra, Java, and Borneo; Botia (7 sp.), India to Japan and Sunda Isles; Oreonectes (1 sp.), China; Lepidocephalus (1 sp.), Java and Sumatra; Acanthopthalmus (2 sp.), Java and Sumatra; Apua (1 sp.), Tenasserim; Kneria (2 sp.), Tropical Africa.

Family 76.—GONORHYNCHIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A marine fish with spiny scales, mouth with barbels, and with short dorsal fin opposite the ventrals."

Distribution.—Temperate parts of Southern Oceans, and Japan.

Family 77.—HYODONTIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A fresh-water fish with cycloid scales and posterior dorsal fin."

Distribution.—Fresh waters of North America.

Family 78.—OSTEOGLOSSIDÆ. (3 Genera, 5 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with large hard scales, and dorsal fin opposite and equal to the anal fin."

Distribution.—Tropical rivers.

The genera are:—Osteoglossum (3 sp.), Eastern South America, Sunda Islands, and Queensland; Arapaima (1 sp.), Eastern South America—the "Pirarucú" of the Amazon; Heterotis (1 sp.), Tropical Africa.

Family 79.—CLUPEIDÆ. (18 Genera, 161 Species.)

"Marine scaly fishes, without barbels, and with the abdomen often compressed and serrated."

Distribution.—Seas of the whole globe, many species entering rivers. They are most abundant in the Indian seas, less so in America, scarce in Africa, while they are almost absent from Australia. The Herring, Sprat, Shad, and Pilchard, are British species of Clupea, a genus which contains 61 species and ranges all over the world.

Family 80.—CHIROCENTRIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A marine fish, with thin deciduous scales, no barbels, and posterior dorsal fin."

Distribution.—The Eastern seas from Africa to China.

Family 81.—ALEPOCEPHALIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A marine fish, covered with thin cycloid scales, no barbels, and posterior dorsal fin."

Distribution.—Deep waters of the Mediterranean.

Family 82.—NOTOPTERIDÆ. (1 Genus, 5 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, without barbels, head and body scaly, long tapering tail, and short posterior dorsal fin."

Distribution.—Rivers of India, Siam, the Sunda Islands, and West Africa.

Family 83.—HALOSAURIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"Marine fishes, with cycloid scales, a short median dorsal fin, and no barbels."

Distribution.—Deep waters of the Atlantic, Madeira.

Family 84.—GYMNOTIDÆ. (5 Genera, 20 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with elongate bodies, pointed tail, and no dorsal fin."

Distribution.—Tropical America from Trinidad to the River Parana.

The genera are distributed as follows:—

Sternarchus (8 sp.), Guiana and Brazil; Rhamphichthys (6 sp.), Guiana and Brazil; Sternopygus (4 sp.), Tropical America; Carapus (1 sp.), Trinidad to Brazil; Gymnotus, (1 sp.—the Electric eel), Tropical South America.

Family 85.—SYMBRANCHIDÆ. (4 Genera, 6 Species.)

"Marine and fresh-water fishes, having elongate bodies without fins, and very minute scales or none."

Distribution.—Fresh waters and coasts of Western Australia and Tasmania.

The genera are:—

Amphipnous (1 sp.), Bengal; Monopterus (1 sp.), Siam to Northern China and Sunda Islands; Symbranchus (3 sp.), Tropical America, and India to Australia; Chilobranchus (1 sp.), Australia and Tasmania.

Family 86.—MURÆNIDÆ. (26 Genera, 230 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water fishes, with cylindrical or band-like bodies and no ventral fins."

Distribution.—The seas and fresh waters of temperate and tropical regions. This family is divided by Dr. Günther into two sub-families and nine sections. The genus Anguilla, comprising our common Eel and a number of species from all parts of the world, is the only one which is found in fresh water, though even here most of the species are marine. Anguilla and Conger are the only British genera.

Family 87.—PEGASIDÆ. (1 Genus, 4 Species.)

"Small marine fishes, covered with bony plates, and short opposite dorsal and anal fins."

Distribution.—Indian Ocean and seas of China and Australia.


"Fish with a segmented bony covering, long snout, and small toothless mouth."

Family 88.—SOLENOSTOMIDÆ. (1 Genus, 3 Species.)

"Marine Lophobranchii, with wide gill openings and two dorsal fins."

Distribution.—Indian Ocean, from Zanzibar to China and the Moluccas.

Family 89.—SYNGNATHIDÆ. (15 Genera, 112 Species.)

"Marine Lophobranchii, with very small gill opening and one soft dorsal fin."

Distribution.—All the tropical and temperate seas. Some species of Syngnathus, Doryichthys, and Cœlonotus enter fresh water, and a few live in it exclusively. Siphonostoma, Syngnathus, Nerophis, and Hippocampus are British genera. The Hippocampina (5 genera, 25 sp.), or Sea-horses, are peculiar to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, except three or four species of Hippocampus in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.


"Fishes covered with rough scales or shields, having a narrow mouth, and soft posterior dorsal fin."

Family 90.—SCLERODERMI. (7 Genera, 95 Species.)

"Marine Plectognathi, with toothed jaws."

Distribution.—Temperate and Tropical seas, but much more abundant in the Tropics.

Family 91.—GYMNODONTES. (10 Genera, 82 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water Plectognathi, with jaws modified into a beak."

Distribution.—Temperate and tropical regions.

Some species of Tetrodon are found in the rivers of Tropical America, Africa, and Asia. Species of Tetrodon and Orthagoriscus have been found on the British coasts.

Sub-class II.—DIPNOI.

Family 92.—Sirenoidei. (3 Genera, 3 Species.)

"Eel-shaped fresh-water fishes, covered with cycloid scales; the vertical fins forming a continuous border to the compressed tapering tail."

Distribution.—Rivers of Tropical Africa, South America, and Australia.

The genera are:—Protopterus (1 sp.), Tropical Africa; Lepidosiren (1 sp.), Amazon Valley; Ceratodus (1 sp.), Queensland.

Sub-class III.—GANOIDEI.


"Body covered with scales."

Family 93.—AMIIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A fresh-water fish, with cycloid scales and a long soft dorsal fin."

Distribution.—United States.

Family 94.—POLYPTERIDÆ. (2 Genera, 2 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with ganoid scales and dorsal spines."

Distribution.—Central and Western Africa.

The genera are:—

Polypterus (1 sp.), the Nile and rivers of West Africa; Calamoichthys (1 sp.), Old Calabar.

Family 95.—LEPIDOSTEIDÆ. (1 Genus, 3 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with ganoid scales, and dorsal and anal fins composed of articulated rays."

Distribution.—The genus Lepidosteus, the Garfishes or Bony Pikes, inhabits North America to Mexico and Cuba.


"Sub-cartilaginous scaleless fishes with heterocercal tail, the skin with osseous bucklers or naked."

Family 96.—ACCIPENSERIDÆ. (2 Genera, 20 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water fishes with osseous bucklers and inferior mouth."

Distribution.—Temperate and Arctic regions of the northern hemisphere. Accipenser (19 sp.), comprising the Sturgeons, has the distribution of the family; most of the species are marine, but some are confined to the Caspian and Black Seas and the great American lakes with the rivers flowing into them, while the Danube, Mississippi, and Columbia River have peculiar species. The other genus, Scaphirhynchus (1 sp.), is confined to the Mississippi and its tributaries.

Family 97.—POLYDONTIDÆ. (1 Genus, 2 Species.)

"Fresh-water fishes, with wide lateral mouth and naked skin."

Distribution.—The Mississippi and Yang-tse-kiang rivers.

Sub class IV.—CHONDROPTERYGII. (Sharks and Rays.)

Order I.—HOLOCEPHALA. (Chimæras.)

Family 98.—CHIMÆRIDÆ. (2 Genera, 4 Species.)

"Shark-like marine fishes, snout of the male with a prehensile organ."

Distribution.—Northern and Southern temperate seas. Chimæra is British.


Sub-order.—Selachoidea. (Sharks.)

Family 99.—CARCHARIIDÆ. (11 Genera, 59 Species.)

"Sharks with two dorsals and a nictitating membrane."

Distribution.—Seas of the Arctic, temperate, and tropical regions. Species of Galeus and Mustelus have occurred on our coasts.

Family 100.—LAMNIDÆ. (5 Genera, 7 Species.)

"Sharks with two dorsals and no nictitating membrane."

Distribution.—Temperate and tropical seas. Species of Lamna, Alopecias, and Selache have occurred in British seas.

Family 101.—RHINODONTIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"Sharks with two dorsal fins, the second small, and no nictitating membrane."

Distribution.—South and East Africa.

Family 102.—NOTIDANIDÆ. (1 Genus, 4 Species.)

"Sharks with one dorsal fin and no nictitating membrane."

Distribution.—Temperate and tropical seas, from the North Atlantic to the Cape of Good Hope and California. One species has occurred on our southern coasts.

Family 103.—SCYLLIIDÆ. (7 Genera, 25 Species.)

"Sharks with one dorsal fin and no nictitating membrane."

Distribution.—All temperate and tropical seas. Species of Scyllium and Pristiurus are British.

Family 104.—CESTRACIONTIDÆ. (1 Genus, 4 Species.)

"Sharks with two dorsal fins and no nictitating membrane."

Distribution.—Pacific Ocean from Japan to New Zealand, Moluccan Sea.

Family 105.—SPINACIDÆ. (10 Genera, 21 Species.)

"Sharks with two dorsal fins and no nictitating membrane, no anal fin."

Distribution.—Arctic, temperate, and tropical seas. Species of Acanthias, Læmargus, and Echinorhinus have occurred on our coasts.

Family 106.—RHINIDÆ (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"Sharks with depressed flat body and large expanded pectoral fins."

Distribution.—Temperate and tropical seas, from Britain to California and Australia.

Family 107.—PRISTIOPHORIDÆ. (1 Genus, 4 Species.)

"Sharks with produced flat snout, armed with teeth on each edge."

Distribution.—Seas of Japan and Australia.

Sub-order Batoidei. (Rays.)

Family 108.—PRISTIDÆ. (1 Genus, 5 Species.)

"Rays with produced snout and lateral saw-like teeth."

Distribution.—Seas of tropical and sub-tropical regions.

Family 109.—RHINOBATIDÆ. (3 Genera, 15 Species.)

"Rays with long and strong tail, having a caudal and two dorsal fins."

Distribution.—Tropical and sub-tropical seas.

Family 110.—TORPEDINIDÆ. (6 Genera, 15 Species.)

"Rays with broad smooth disc, and an electric organ."

Distribution.—Tropical and temperate seas, from Britain to Tasmania.

Family 111.—RAIIDÆ. (4 Genera, 29 Species.)

"Rays with broad rhombic disc and no serrated caudal spine."

Distribution.—All temperate and tropical seas. Several species of Raia are found on our coasts.

Family 112.—TRYGONIDÆ (6 Genera, 43 Species.)

"Rays with the pectoral fins extending to end of snout."

Distribution.—Seas of all temperate and tropical regions, and rivers of Tropical America. A species of Trygon has occurred on our Southern coast. Ellipesurus and Tæniura are found in the fresh waters of the interior of South America, while the latter genus occurs also in the Indian seas, but not in the Atlantic.

Family 113.—MYLOBATIDÆ. (5 Genera, 22 Species.)

"Rays with very broad pectoral fins not extending to end of snout."

Distribution.—Temperate and tropical seas. A species of Myliobatis is British, but most of the species and genera are confined to tropical seas. Dicerobatis and Ceratoptera are very large Rays, commonly called Sea-devils.


"Cartilaginous fishes, with suctorial mouths and without lateral fins."

Family 114.—PETROMYZONTIDÆ. (4 Genera, 12 Species.)

"Marine or fresh-water eel-like fishes, with suctorial mouths and without barbels."

Distribution.—Coasts and fresh waters of temperate regions of both hemispheres. Three species of Petromyzon (Lampreys), are British.

Family 115.—MYXINIDÆ. (2 Genera, 5 Species.)

"Marine eel-like fishes, with four pairs of barbels."

Distribution.—Seas of the temperate regions of both hemispheres.


Family 116.—CIRRHOSTOMI. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

"A small marine fish with no jaws or fins, and with rudimentary eyes."

Distribution.—The only species, the Lancelet (Amphioxus), is the lowest form of living vertebrate. It is found in the temperate regions of both hemispheres, and has occurred on our southern coast.

Remarks on the Distribution of Fishes.

Marine Fish.—There are about 80 families of marine fishes, and of these no less than 50 are universally, or almost universally, distributed over the seas and oceans of the globe. Of the remainder many are widely distributed, some species even ranging from the North Atlantic to Australia. Six families are confined to the Northern Seas, but four of these consist of single species only, the other two being the Discoboli (2 genera, 11 sp.), and the Accipenseridæ (2 genera and 20 sp.). Only one family (Acanthoclinidæ) is confined to the Southern oceans, and that consists of but a single species. Four families (Sternoptychidæ, Stomiatidæ, Alepocephalidæ and Halosauridæ) are confined to the Atlantic Ocean, while 13 are found only in the Pacific; and of the remainder several are more abundant in the Pacific than the Atlantic. Two families (Lycodidæ and Gadidæ) are found in the Arctic and Antarctic seas only, though the latter family has a single species in the Indian seas. Among the curiosities of distribution are,—the extensive genus Diagramma, confined to the Pacific with the exception of one species in the Mediterranean; the single species constituting the family Lophotidæ, found only in the Mediterranean and Japan; the small family of Notacanthi, confined to Greenland, the Mediterranean, and West Australia; and the four families, Sternoptychidæ, Stomiatidæ, Alepocephalidæ, and Halosauridæ, which are believed to inhabit exclusively the depths of the ocean, and are therefore very rarely obtained.

Fresh-water Fish.—There are 36 families of fishes which inhabit fresh water exclusively, and 5 others, which are both marine and fresh-water. These present many interesting peculiarities of distribution. The Neotropical region is the richest in families, and probably also in genera and species. No less than 22 families inhabit it, and of these 6 are altogether peculiar. The Ethiopian and Nearctic regions each have 18 families, the former with 3, and the latter with 5 peculiar. Several isolated forms, requiring to be placed in distinct families, inhabit the great American lakes; and, no doubt, when the African lakes are equally well known, they will be found also to possess many peculiar forms. The Oriental region comes next, with 17 families, of which 3 are peculiar. The Palæarctic has 12, and the Australian 11 families, each with only 1 altogether peculiar to it.

If we take those regions which are sometimes supposed to be so nearly related that they should be combined, we shall find the fresh-water fishes in most cases markedly distinct. The Nearctic and Palæarctic regions, for example, together contain 20 families, but only 11 of these occur in both, and only 5 are exclusive inhabitants of these two regions. This shows an amount of diversity that would not, perhaps, be exhibited by any other class of animals. The Ethiopian and Oriental regions together possess 24 families, only 11 of which are found in both, and only 1 exclusively characteristic of the two. The Australian and Neotropical regions possess together 27 families, of which 7 are found in both, and 3 are exclusively characteristic of the two. This last fact is very interesting: the marine family of Trachinidæ possesses a fresh-water genus, Aphritis, one species of which inhabits Tasmania, and two others Patagonia; the Haplochitonidæ (2 genera, 3 sp.) are found only in Tierra del Fuego, the Falkland Islands, and South Australia; and the Galaxidæ (1 genus, 12 sp.) inhabit the same regions, but extend to Chili, to New Zealand and to Queensland. We have here an illustration of that connection between South America and Australia which is so strongly manifested in plants, but of which there are only scattered indications in most classes of animals. The dividing line across the Malay Archipelago, separating the Oriental from the Australian regions, and which is so strikingly marked in mammalia and birds, is equally so in fresh-water fishes. No less than six families have their eastern limits in Java and Borneo; while the extensive family of Cyprinidæ has no less than 23 genera in Java and Borneo, but not a single species has been found in Celebes or the Moluccas.

The distribution of fresh-water fishes lends no support to the view that the peninsula of India belongs to the Ethiopian region. A large proportion of the Oriental families are common to the whole region; while there is hardly a single example, of a characteristic Ethiopian family or genus extending into the peninsula of India and no further.

Among the special peculiarities of distribution, is the curious fish, forming the family Comephoridæ, which is confined to Lake Baikal, among the mountains of Central Asia, 2,000 feet above the sea, and a thousand miles distant from the ocean; yet having its nearest allies in the exclusively oceanic family of the mackerels (Scomberidæ). The Characinidæ are confined to Africa and South America, distinct genera inhabiting each region. The Salmonidæ are confined to the two northern regions, except a single species of a peculiar genus in New Zealand. The genus Osteoglossum has a species in South America, another in the Sunda Islands, and a third in Queensland; while the curious Sirenoidei are represented by single species of peculiar genera in Tropical America, Tropical Africa, and Tropical Australia.

Fossil Fishes.—Fishes have existed from a very remote era, and it is remarkable that the first whose remains have been discovered belong to the Ganoidei, a highly developed group which has continued to exist down to our times, and of which the sturgeon is the best known example. We may therefore be sure that the Upper Silurian rocks in which these are found, although so very far back in geological history, do not by any means lead us to the time when the primitive fish-type appeared upon the earth. In the Carboniferous and Permian formations numerous remains of fishes are found, allied to the Lepidosteus or Gar-pike of North America. The next group in order of appearance, are the Plagiostomata, containing the existing Sharks and Rays. Traces of these are found in the highest Silurian beds, and become plentiful in the Devonian and Carboniferous formations and in all succeeding ages, being especially abundant in Cretaceous and Eocene strata. The Holocephali appear first in the Oolitic period, and are represented by the living Chimæridæ. The Dipnoi, to which belong the Lepidosiren and Ceratodus, are believed to have existed in the Triassic period, from the evidence of teeth almost identical with those of the existing Australian fish. All the ancient fossil fishes belong to the above-mentioned groups, and many of them have little resemblance to existing forms. The Teleostean fishes, which form the great bulk of those now living, cannot be traced back further than the Cretaceous period, while by far the larger number first appear in the Tertiary beds. The Salmonidæ, Scopelidæ, Percidæ, Clupeidæ, Scombresocidæ, Mugilidæ, and Siluridæ, or forms closely allied to them, are found in the Cretaceous formation. In the Eocene beds we first meet with Squammipennes, Cyprinidæ, Pleuronectidæ, Characinidæ, Murænidæ, Gadidæ, Pediculati, Syngnathidæ, and Hippocampidæ.

Most of these fossils represent marine fishes, those of fresh-water origin being rare, and of little importance as an aid in determining the causes of the distribution of living forms. To understand this we must look to the various changes of the land surface which have led to the existing distribution of all the higher vertebrates, and to those special means of dispersal which Mr. Darwin has shown to be possessed by all fresh-water productions.