Genera of Fishes

This part contains all genus-group names of recent fishes (genera and subgenera and referred to collectively as "genera" in the Catalog). The following items are treated.

NAME. The genus-group name as first proposed is given first, and names are arranged in alphabetical order. The original spelling is given except where mandatory changes are necessary, such as removing hyphens (e.g., changing Lucio-Perca to Lucioperca).

SUBGENUS OF. When the name was proposed as a subgeneric one, the genus of which it was a subgenus is given in parentheses.

AUTHOR. The author of the new name is given next (see Author in ‘Species of Fishes’ above).

DATE. The year of publication is provided (see Date in Appendix A of the Catalog).

Pagination may differ

PAGE. Usually only one page is cited¾ the page on which the main generic description begins (not necessarily the page on which the genus is first mentioned). When more than one page is given, the genus may appear in a key, for example, and be followed later in the text by additional information. In some early works, where a typical generic description may not have been given, several pages that concern publication of the name may be cited. Pages in brackets are those assigned in an unpaginated work or in a separate (offprint, reprint) in which pagination differs from that in the original publication.

REFERENCE AND REFERENCE NUMBER. See the section for Species of Fishes, above.

GENDER. Abbreviations in the Catalog are Fem. = feminine, Masc. = masculine, Neut. = neuter.

TYPE SPECIES, AUTHOR, DATE. The original genus of the type species, the specific name, author, and date are given next. Mandatory corrections to species names have been made. Occasionally a second species is indicated in parentheses, and the use of this convention may have several meanings (usually amplified in the remarks section). The species in parentheses is typically the senior objective synonym, especially when the author of the genus provided a new (unneeded) name for the older species name. In other cases the author of the new genus or subgenus may attribute authorship of the type species not to the original author of the species but to some later author; normally the original author of the species is given (regardless of the species authorship attributed by the author of the genus), but there are some statements such as, "Type species Alpha beta of Jones (= Gamma delta Smith 1945)". When an author makes an equivalent type designation statement¾ i.e., type is so-and-so = so-and-so, amplification is given in the remarks. The use of parentheses does NOT show subjective taxonomic decisions involving the status of the type species; only objective synonyms are dealt with.

TEXT REMARKS. Remarks, given next, cover such items as the method of type designation, the subsequent designator, comments on preoccupation, misspellings, emendations, and other pertinent remarks.

a. METHOD OF TYPE DESIGNATION. First is given the method by which the type species was established (fixed). This subject, which is discussed in some detail in Appendix A, seems to cause current workers many problems. Although ‘type by original designation’ takes precedence over other designations, a distinction is made between ‘original designation (also monotypic)’ and ‘original designation’; the former insures that the likelihood of the name having a different type is remote; the latter means there was more than one originally included available species treated as valid. Other amplification is sometimes given, e.g., ‘Type by monotypy (also by use of typus),’ but in these instances the use of typus or similar denotation is a form of indication that comes into play only when other designations do not take precedence, and when there are two or more originally included species in the taxon. When the type species is designated after the original description, amplification is provided, such as a citation to the subsequent designation.

It was not uncommon to publish a new genus in more than one place

b. SECONDARY APPEARANCES. If the genus appeared in a second work at or near the time of the first appearance, a citation to this second work is provided. It was not uncommon in the early literature for an author to publish a new genus description in more than one place.

c. PREOCCUPIED NAMES. Names that are unavailable because of previous use are preoccupied. To be sure that a genus of fishes is in fact preoccupied¾ for example in insects¾ would require going to the original description of the insect and confirming the original spelling, date, availability and other details. Preoccupied names in fishes were verified, but names preoccupied in other groups were not.

Generic names must be unique in the Animal Kingdom

d. MISSPELLINGS AND EMENDATIONS. Misspellings that are included are ones made by the original author in later papers, or made in Jordan's ‘Genera of Fishes,’ in the ‘Zoological Record’ the first time the genus was listed there, in major treatments (such as monographs), or in references used to document the status of the genus. Many other misspellings were not included. Emendations require careful study; some were evaluated as to whether they were justified emendations or unjustified ones (or merely misspellings). In those not so evaluated, the expression "Spelled ..." is often used to show that the investigation was not made.

e. OTHER REMARKS. Such items as action by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), nomenclatural remarks, and other comments are included.

f. STATUS. When given, the status of the nominal genus is provided next. Citations documenting the status include the author, date, page and the reference number. When a page is not given, the entire article typically deals with only that taxon. For example, under Brochus, the citation ‘Nijssen & Isbrücker 1983 [ref. 5387]’ is found; reference 5387 treats only the genus. When a page is given, it refers to one pertinent page in which the status of the taxon is discussed, although the taxon may be mentioned on other pages in the same article. For genera that are junior synonyms the page given usually refers to the page on which a generic synonymy occurs.

Some taxa are not mentioned in recent literature

The status of some genera is not provided. Some of these taxa are old synonyms not mentioned in current literature, whereas others have just not been treated recently. In some cases, the status has been obtained by looking for the placement of the type species in current genera, even though the genus in question is not mentioned; these are qualified with statements like, "Synonym of ... (Paxton et al. 1989:470 [ref. 12442] based on placement of type species)."

In general, only literature from the last 15-20 years has been used to document status, although some earlier monographs have been included, especially when that monograph is the only thorough treatment available that mentions the taxon. In some current systematic papers, authors tend to omit old synonyms. The aim in documenting the current status of taxa was not to provide extensive synonymies, but to be able to give one or a few recent references that can serve as an entry or source to other literature treating the taxon. Information can be obtained from both the genera and species accounts; for example, a status reference for a genus may not be listed under species, and the reverse may be true.

FAMILY/SUBFAMILY. Each account provides the family and subfamily (if used) in which the genus has been placed in the classification (see below).

How to get there

You get to the GENERA table by clicking on the Eschmeyer’s GENERA button in the SEARCH SPECIES BY . . . window, by clicking on the Genus button in the SPECIES window, or by double-clicking on the generic name in the SYNONYMS window.


On the Internet version of FishBase, you get to the November 2000 version of the GENERA table by selecting the Eschmeyer (Genera) radio button when you search for a scientific name, or by clicking the generic name in the ‘Species Summary’ page.

You can also search the GENERA database at

William N. Eschmeyer