Order CLUPEIFORMES: Family CLUPEIDAE (Herrings)

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v. 8.0 – 19 May 2017  view/download PDF

Family CLUPEIDAE Herrings
60 genera/subgenera · 239 species/subspecies

Subfamily DUSSUMIERIINAE Round Herrings
4 genera · 19 species                   

Dussumieria Valenciennes 1847    ia, belonging to: Jean-Jacques Dussumier (1792–1883), French voyager and merchant who collected zoological specimens from southeastern Asia and the Indian Ocean, in “gratitude for the sacrifices that he made with great zeal to serve ichthyology” and for mentioning “in his notes that information we learn from one species in the Indies is comparable to what we learn from our European sardine” (translations)

Dussumieria acuta Valenciennes 1847    pointed, referring to sharp, sardine-like form

Dussumieria elopsoides Bleeker 1849    oides, having the form of: presumably referring to similar body shape to Elops (Elopidae)

Etrumeus Bleeker 1853    from Etrumei wasi (also spelled Etrumei-Iwashi), Japanese vernacular for E. micropus

Etrumeus acuminatus Gilbert 1890    sharpened or pointed, referring to its “more acuminate” snout compared to E. micropus and E. sadina

Etrumeus golani Randall & DiBattista 2012    in honor of Dani Golani, Hebrew University, who provided type specimens, genetic material and a photograph of the holotype

Etrumeus jacksoniensis Macleay 1878    ensis, suffix denoting place: Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia, type locality

Etrumeus makiawa Randall & DiBattista 2012    native Hawaiian name for round herrings

Etrumeus micropus (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    micro-, small; pous, foot, referring to small ventral fins (“Les ventrales sont petites”)

Etrumeus sadina (Mitchill 1814)    diminutive of shad; Mitchill called it a “Shadine”

Etrumeus whiteheadi Wongratana 1983    in honor of Peter J. P. Whitehead (1930-1993), British Museum (Natural History), whose 1963 revision of the genus formed a basis for Wongratana’s study

Etrumeus wongratanai DiBattista, Randall & Bowen 2012    in honor of Thosaporn Wongratana, Royal Institute of Thailand, for his “extensive” systematic research on clupeoid fishes

Jenkinsia Jordan & Evermann 1896    ia, pertaining to: Oliver Peebles Jenkins (1850-1935), physiology professor at Stanford University, in recognition of his work on the fishes of México and the Hawaiian Islands

Jenkinsia lamprotaenia (Gosse 1851)    lampros, bright; taenia, band, referring to well-defined silvery lateral band

Jenkinsia majua Whitehead 1963    Cuban name for Jenkinsia species

Jenkinsia parvula Cervigón & Velazquez 1978    very small, allusion not evident, perhaps referring to smaller number of gill rakers on first arch compared to J. lamprotaenia and J. stolifera

Jenkinsia stolifera (Jordan & Gilbert 1884)    stole, stole or white band wore by priests; fera, to bear, referring to silvery band on side

Spratelloides Bleeker 1851    oides, having the form of: Spratella (=Sprattus), presumably referring to sprat-like shape of S. argyrotaenia (also spelled argyrotaeniata, = S. gracilis)

Spratelloides atrofasciatus Schultz 1943    atro-, black; fasciatus, banded, referring to wide blackish lateral band

Spratelloides delicatulus (Bennett 1832)    very delicate, allusion not explained but probably referring to elongate shape and delicate form and appearance 

Spratelloides gracilis (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    thin or slender, height of body 1/7 of total length

Spratelloides lewisi Wongratana 1983    in honor of A. D. Lewis, Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea), who collected type

Spratelloides robustus Ogilby 1897    stout, referring to “rather short and stout” body


Subfamily EHIRAVINAE    
8 genera · 19 species

Clupeichthys Bleeker 1855    clupea, a herring; ichthys, fish presumably referring to herring-like features as evidenced by similarity to Clupea, Clupeoides and Clupalosa (=Sardinella)

Clupeichthys aesarnensis Wongratana 1983    ensis, suffix denoting place: name not explained, probably from Esern, variant of Issan, northeast region of Thailand, where species occurs

Clupeichthys bleekeri (Hardenberg 1936)    patronym not identified but clearly in honor of Dutch medical doctor and ichthyologist Pieter Bleeker (1819-1878), who described many clupeids from Borneo

Clupeichthys goniognathus Bleeker 1855    gonio-, angle; gnathus, mouth, referring to wide mouth cleft, maxillary extending to below middle of eye

Clupeichthys perakensis (Herre 1936)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Perak River, Perak, Malaysia, type locality

Corica Hamilton 1822    latinization of native name Soborno Khorica

Corica laciniata Fowler 1935    gashed, referring to “divided anal fin,” with last two rays forming a separate finlet

Corica soborna Hamilton 1822    latinization of native name Soborno (=golden) Khorica, referring to “the little creature’s beauty; for, in fact, its splendour is that of silver”

Dayella Talwar & Whitehead 1971    ella, diminutive connoting endearment: in honor of Francis Day (1829-1889), Inspector-General of Fisheries in India, who listed 55 clupeoid species (46 valid) in his Fishes of India (1875-78) and described six new ones, including type of genus

Dayella malabarica (Day 1873)    icus, belonging to: Malabar (i.e., southern India), where it ascends rivers during its spawning run

Ehirava Deraniyagala 1929    derived from its Sinhalese (majority ethnic group of Sri Lanka) name

Ehirava fluviatilis Deraniyagala 1929    riverine, referring to occurrence in rivers up to 15 miles (24 km) from the sea

Gilchristella Fowler 1935    ella, diminutive connoting endearment, in honor of the late John Dow Fisher Gilchrist (1866-1926), “author of many important papers on the fishes of South Africa,” and author of type species, G. aestuaria

Gilchristella aestuaria (Gilchrist 1913)    referring to occurrence in estuarine (brackish) waters (also occurs in fresh water)

Sauvagella Bertin 1940    ella, diminutive connoting endearment, in honor of paleontologist-ichthyologist Henri Émile Sauvage (1842-1917), who collected the 15 specimens Bertin used in proposing this genus

Sauvagella madagascariensis (Sauvage 1883)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Madagascar, where it is endemic

Sauvagella robusta Stiassny 2002    robust or full-bodied, referring to deeper body compared to S. madagascarensis, which is evident even in juvenile specimens

Spratellomorpha Bertin 1946    morpha, form or shape, probably referring to similarity to Spratelloides Bleeker 1851, original genus of original type species, S. madagascarenis (now retained in Sauvagella, making S. bianalis type by monotypy)

Spratellomorpha bianalis (Bertin 1940)    bi-, two; analis, anal, referring to last two anal fin rays separate from anal fin, forming a distinct finlet

Sundasalanx Roberts 1981    Sunda, Sundaland, continental landmass of Southeast Asia connected to Asian mainland by isthmus of Kra, referring to general area of distribution for S. praecox and S. microps; Salanx, type genus of Salangidae (Osmeriformes), to which this family was thought to be related

Sundasalanx malleti Siebert & Crimmen 1997    in honor of John Valentine Granville Mallet, former Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers (a London livery company), “whose enthusiasm, encouragement, and support have made possible the continuation of a research programme on freshwater fishes of Southeast Asia”

Sundasalanx megalops Siebert & Crimmen 1997    mega-, large; ops, eye, referring to size of eye compared to other Barito River (Indonesia) congeners

Sundasalanx mekongensis Britz & Kottelat 1999    ensis, suffix denoting place: Mekong basin of Laos and Thailand, where it is endemic

Sundasalanx mesops Siebert & Crimmen 1997    meso-, middle; ops, eye, referring to size of eye compared to other Barito River (Indonesia) congeners

Sundasalanx microps Roberts 1981    micro-, small; ops, eye, referring to smaller eyes compared to S. praecox

Sundasalanx platyrhynchus Siebert & Crimmen 1997   platys, broad; rhynchos, snout, presumably referring to shorter (i.e., wider, less pointed) snout compared to congeners

Sundasalanx praecox Roberts 1981    premature, referring to sexual maturity of males and females at standard lengths of only 14.9 mm


Subfamily PELLONULINAE Freshwater Herrings  
16 genera · 34 species/subspecies    

Clupeoides Bleeker 1851    ioides, having the form of: Clupea, a herring, being a “clearly recognizable type of herring … halfway between Clupea and Harengula” (translation)

Clupeoides borneensis Bleeker 1851    ensis, suffix denoting place: southern Borneo, where it is endemic

Clupeoides hypselosoma Bleeker 1866    hypselo-, high; soma, body, presumably referring to moderately deep body (but not as deep as C. borneensis)

Clupeoides papuensis (Ramsay & Ogilby 1886)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Papua New Guinea, where it is endemic

Clupeoides venulosus Weber & de Beaufort 1912    veined, referring to “venulated” cheeks and opercle

Congothrissa Poll 1964    Congo, referring to Congo River, type locality; thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones (literally, the Congo anchovy)

Congothrissa gossei Poll 1964    in honor of Jean-Pierre Gosse (1924-2001), curator of vertebrates, Institut Royal des Sciences Naturalles de Belgique, who discovered this clupeid and recognized its distinctiveness despite small size and “benign appearance” (translation)

Hyperlophus Ogilby 1892    hyper, very; lophis, mane or crest, referring to dorsal scutes between occiput and dorsal fin

Hyperlophus translucidus McCulloch 1917    referring to translucent body in life

Hyperlophus vittatus (Castelnau 1875)    banded, referring to silvery band along flank

Laeviscutella Poll, Whitehead & Hopson 1965    laevis, smooth; scutella, small scute, referring to unkeeled pre-pelvic scutes and/or armless post-pelvic scutes

Laeviscutella dekimpei Poll, Whitehead & Hopson 1965    in honor of M. P. De Kimpe, Fisheries Officer at Cotonou (Dahomey, now Republic of Benin), for his services in collecting this and other species for the Musée de l’Afrique Centrale in Tervuren

Limnothrissa Regan 1917    limno, lake, referring to distribution in Lake Tanganykia; thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones, used here as a standard suffix for clupeids

Limnothrissa miodon (Boulenger 1906)    mio-, less or small; odon, tooth, referring to smaller teeth compared to Pellonula vorax

Limnothrissa stappersii (Poll 1948)    in honor of Louis Stappers of the Belgian government, who led an expedition to Lake Moero in 1912 and collected type

Microthrissa Boulenger 1902    micro-, small, probably referring to small size of M. royauxi (type specimen was 6 cm, species reaches 8 cm); thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones, used here as a standard suffix for clupeids

Microthrissa minuta Poll 1974    very small, referring to size (to 3.5 cm)

Microthrissa royauxi Boulenger 1902    in honor of Capt. Louis Royaux, who led expedition that collected type and supplied indigenous names of the species collected

Microthrissa whiteheadi Gourène & Teugels 1988    in honor of Peter J. P. Whitehead (1930-1993), British Museum (Natural History), “whose numerous publications on clupeoid fishes have contributed substantially to our knowledge of this group”

Minyclupeoides Roberts 2008    minys, small, being substantially smaller (up to 22.5 mm) than any of the four river herring species in Mekong basin; Clupeoides, generic name of larger Mekong clupeids

Minyclupeoides dentibranchialus Roberts 2008    dent, tooth; branchus, gill, referring to heavily denticulate gill rakers on the gill arches

Nannothrissa Poll 1965    nanus, dwarf, referring to small size (up to 4 cm); thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones, used here as a standard suffix for clupeids

Nannothrissa parva (Regan 1917)    small, referring to small size (up to 4 cm)

Nannothrissa stewarti Poll & Roberts 1976    in honor of Donald J. Stewart, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, who helped collect type

Odaxothrissa Boulenger 1899    odax, biting, referring to strong canines on lower jaw; thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones, used here as a standard suffix for clupeids

Odaxothrissa ansorgii Boulenger 1910    in honor of explorer William John Ansorge (1850-1913), who collected type

Odaxothrissa losera Boulenger 1899    indigenous name for this species in the Congo

Odaxothrissa mento (Regan 1917)    projecting edge, probably referring to strongly projecting lower jaw

Odaxothrissa vittata Regan 1917    banded, referring to well-defined silvery lateral band

Pellonula Günther 1868    etymology not explained, presumably a diminutive of Pellona Valenciennes 1847 (Pristigasteridae), perhaps alluding to their relatively small size (6-12 cm)

Pellonula leonensis leonensis Boulenger 1916    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sierra Leone (Northern Sherbo District), type locality

Pellonula leonensis afzeliusi Johnels 1954    in honor of Björn Afzelius, member of expedition that collected type in Gambia River

Pellonula leonensis miri (Daget 1954)    vernacular used by indigenous fishermen of Bambara (Diafarabé, Mali)

Pellonula vorax Günther 1868    voracious, probably referring to “well developed” dentition, with premaxillary teeth pointing outward

Poecilothrissa Regan 1917    poecilio-, varicolored, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to lateral band on rear half of body but not on front; thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones, used here as a standard suffix for clupeids

Poecilothrissa centralis Poll 1974    central, referring to centralized distribution in the Lake Tumba (Democratic Republic of the Congo) region compared to congeners and Congothrissa gossei

Poecilothrissa congica Regan 1917    ica, belonging to: the Congo, referring to Congo River, Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo), type locality

Poecilothrissa moeruensis Poll 1948    ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Moero (Lake Mweru), Kilwa, Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo), where it is endemic

Potamalosa Ogilby 1897    potamos, river, referring to distribution in fresh water; alosa, from the Saxon allis, old name of the European shad, used here as a general term for herring or shad

Potamalosa richmondia (Macleay 1879)    ia, adjectival suffix: Richmond River, New South Wales, Australia, type locality

Potamothrissa Regan 1917    potamos, river, referring to distribution in fresh water; thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones, used here as a standard suffix for clupeids

Potamothrissa acutirostris (Boulenger 1899)      acutus, sharp; rostris, snout, referring to pointed snout

Potamothrissa obtusirostris (Boulenger 1909)     obtusus, blunt; rostris, snout, referring to blunt snout compared to pointed snout of P. acutirostris

Potamothrissa whiteheadi Poll 1974    in honor of clupeoid specialist Peter J. P. Whitehead (1930-1993), British Museum (Natural History), who examined Poll’s specimens and reported the presence of this species

Sierrathrissa Thys van den Audenaerde 1969    Sierra, referring to Sierra Leone, type locality; thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones, used here as a standard suffix for clupeids

Sierrathrissa leonensis Thys van den Audenaerde 1969    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sierra Leone, type locality

Stolothrissa Regan 1917    stole, stole, probably referring to broad lateral band; thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones, used here as a standard suffix for clupeids

Stolothrissa tanganicae Regan 1917    of Lake Tanganyika, where it is endemic

Thrattidion Roberts 1972    neuter diminutive of Thrassa (Thratta), a small, herringlike fish, referring to small size (21.4 mm)

Thrattidion noctivagus Roberts 1972    nocturnus, of the night; vagus, wandering, referring to upward and shoreward migrations at nightfall in mixed aggregations with other small fishes


Subfamily CLUPEINAE Herrings, Sardines and Sprats
17 genera/subgenera · 86 species/subspecies

Amblygaster Bleeker 1849    amblys, obtuse; gaster, stomach, referring to obtuse, round and smooth belly (“ventre obtuso rotundata non serrato”) of A. clupeoides

Amblygaster clupeoides Bleeker 1849    oides, having the form of: clupea, a herring, possibly referring to members of Clupea, which at the time was a more-inclusive genus

Amblygaster indiana Mary, Balasubramanian, Selvaraju & Shiny 2017    ana, belonging to: India, type specimens collected at fish landing centers and fish markets at Eraviputhenthurai, west coast of India

Amblygaster leiogaster (Valenciennes 1847)    leios, smooth; gaster, belly, referring to less prominent belly scutes compared to Sardinella aurita

Amblygaster sirm (Walbaum 1792)    Arabian vernacular for this herring (name dates to Forsskål 1775)

Clupea Linnaeus 1758    Latin for herring

Clupea harengus Linnaeus 1758    low Latin for herring, allied to the German Heer, army, i.e., a fish that swims in armies

Clupea pallasii pallasii Valenciennes 1847    in honor of naturalist and explorer Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811), who had identified this herring as a form of C. harengus in his 1811 Zoographia Rosso-Asiatica

Clupea pallasii marisalbi Berg 1923    maris, sea; albus, white, referring to the White Sea of Russia, where it occurs, principally in the western and southern portions

Clupea pallasii suworowi Rabinerson 1927    in honor of Soviet ichthyologist Evgenii Konstantinovich Suvorov (1880-1953), the first to investigate herrings from Cheshskaya Guba (Chosha Bay), inlet of the Barents Sea, type locality

Clupeonella Kessler 1877    diminutive of Clupea (Latin for herring), referring to small size; in fact, Kessler wondered if C. grimmi might represent juveniles of C. delicatula (=Spratelloides delicatulus)

Clupeonella abrau (Maliatsky 1930)     referring to Lake Abrau, near Novorossiysk, Russia, only known distribution

Clupeonella caspia Svetovidov 1941    of Caspia, referring to distribution in Caspian Sea basin

Clupeonella cultriventris (Nordmann 1840)    culter, knife; ventris, belly, referring to sharp serrations along ventral surface

Clupeonella engrauliformis (Borodin 1904)    engraulis, ancient name for E. encrasicolus, common anchovy of Europe; formis, shape, referring to “striking similarity” (translation) to anchovies

Clupeonella grimmi Kessler 1877    in honor of Russian ichthyologist Oscar von Grimm, who collected type

Clupeonella muhlisi Neu 1934    in honor of Muhlis Bey, Lord Minister of Agriculture of Turkey (where it is endemic)

Clupeonella tscharchalensis (Borodin 1896)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Charkhal, Ural River basin, Kazakhstan, type locality

Escualosa Whitley 1940    etymology not explained, perhaps escu– (edible) and alosa (from the Saxon allis, old name of the European shad but possibly used here as a general term for herring or shad), perhaps referring to fisheries importance of E. macrolepis (=thoracata)

Escualosa elongata Wongratana 1983    elongate, referring to more slender body compared to E. thoracata

Escualosa thoracata (Valenciennes 1847)    armored (as in breastplate), referring to spines or serrations on abdomen

Harengula Valenciennes 1847    diminutive of harengus, low Latin for herring, allied to the German Heer, army, i.e., a fish that swims in armies

Harengula clupeola (Cuvier 1829)    diminutive of Clupea, Latin for herring, perhaps reflecting 18th-century French vernacular “Petit Cailleu”

Harengula humeralis (Cuvier 1829)    pertaining to shoulder, referring to silvery, dark humeral spot seen on many specimens

Harengula jaguana Poey 1865    ana, belonging to: “bahía de Jagua” (bay of Jagua, but likely a port on the Bay of Cienfuegos), Cuba, presumed type locality (no type specimens are known)

Harengula thrissina thrissina (Jordan & Gilbert 1882)    diminutive of thrissa, Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones

Harengula thrissina peruana Fowler & Bean 1923    ana, belonging to: Peru, referring to Callao, Peru, type locality

Herklotsichthys Whitley 1951    ichthys, fish; replacement name for Herklotsella Fowler 1934, preoccupied by Herklotsella Herre 1933 (=Pterocryptis, Siluridae), for Fowler’s friend, botanist and ornithologist G. A. C. Herklots (1902-1986), University of Hong Kong, “with many fond memories of the China Sea and Java”

Herklotsichthys blackburni (Whitley 1948)    in honor of Maurice Blackburn, C.S.I.R. Division of Fisheries, for his work on the bionomics of Australian clupeoids, and who discovered this species but placed his specimens and notes at Whitley’s disposal

Herklotsichthys castelnaui (Ogilby 1897)    patronym not identified but clearly in honor of François Louis Nompar de Caumont La Force, comte de [count of] Castelnau (1810-1880), French naturalist who published several papers on Australian fishes in the 1870s

Herklotsichthys collettei Wongratana 1987    in honor of Bruce B. Collette, Director, National Marine Fisheries Service Systematics Laboratory, for his “hospitality, encouragement, and interest” in Wongratana’s work on Indo-Pacific clupeoid fishes

Herklotsichthys dispilonotus (Bleeker 1852)    di-, two; spilos, spot; notos, back, referring to two dark blotches on back, one at posterior end of dorsal fin base and the other a short distance behind

Herklotsichthys gotoi Wongratana 1983    in honor of H. E. Goto, Imperial College, University of London, director of Wongratana’s studies in London

Herklotsichthys koningsbergeri (Weber & de Beaufort 1912)    in honor of Jacob Christian Koningsberger (1867-1951), “distinguished” director of ’s Lands Plantentuin (National Botanical Garden), Buitenzorg, Java, who sent type to the authors [“’s” is a Dutch abbreviation meaning “of the” or “in the”]

Herklotsichthys lippa (Whitley 1931)    etymology not explained, perhaps lippus, bleary-eyed or dim-sighted, referring to adipose lids on eyes

Herklotsichthys lossei Wongratana 1983    in honor of G. F. Losse, who collected most of the type material, and for his “most useful” studies of East African clupeoids

Herklotsichthys ovalis (Anonymous [Bennett] 1830)    referring to oval body shape

Herklotsichthys punctatus (Rüppell 1837)    spotted, referring to round black spots on dorsal surface

Herklotsichthys quadrimaculatus (Rüppell 1837)    quadri-, fourfold; macula, spot, presumably referring to orange spots, two at edge of each gill opening

Herklotsichthys spilurus (Guichenot 1863)    spilos, spot; oura, tail, referring to “large black spots” (translation) on tail (although this character does not seem to be confirmed in more recent literature)

Lile Jordan & Evermann 1896    from matt-lile, Pondicherry name for the east-Indian Clupea lile (=Escualosa thoracata)

Lile gracilis Castro-Aguirre & Vivero 1990    referring to its graceful body (“cuerpo grácil”)

Lile nigrofasciata Castro-Aguirre, Ruiz-Campos & Balart 2002    nigro, black; fasciata, band, referring to obvious dark or black band on midlateral part of body, from posterior edge of operculum to end of caudal peduncle

Lile piquitinga (Schreiner & Miranda Ribeiro 1903)    presumably a local name first reported in Marcgrave’s Historiae naturalis brasiliae (1648)

Lile stolifera (Jordan & Gilbert 1882)    stole, stole; fera, to bear, referring to distinct lateral silvery band

Opisthonema Gill 1861    opistho-, behind; nema, thread, referring to long, filamentous last ray of dorsal fin

Opisthonema berlangai Berry & Barrett 1963    in honor of Fray Tomás de Berlanga (1487-1551), fourth bishop of Panama, who is credited with discovery of the Galapagos Islands (distribution of this species) in May 1535

Opisthonema bulleri (Regan 1904)    in honor of Audley Cecil Buller (1853-1894), who collected many specimens of Mexican vertebrates, including the type of this one

Opisthonema libertate (Günther 1867)    of La Libertad, El Salvador, type locality (but no type specimens known)

Opisthonema medirastre Berry & Barrett 1963    medius, middle or midst; rastrum, rake, referring to intermediate number of gill rakers compared to two other Pacific coastal species, O. berlangai and O. libertate

Opisthonema oglinum (Lesueur 1818)    allusion not evident, perhaps from ogle, referring to its large eyes

Platanichthys Whitehead 1968    platana, referring to Río de la Plata (Argentina), only known location of its one species; ichthys, fish

Platanichthys platana (Regan 1917)    ana, belonging to: Río de la Plata (Argentina), type locality

Ramnogaster Whitehead 1965    rhamnos, a prickly plant, e.g., buckthorn; gaster, belly, referring to strongly keeled abdominal scutes

Ramnogaster arcuata (Jenyns 1842)    bent like a bow, probably referring to deep body, “with the ventral line swelling rather more outwards than the dorsal”

Ramnogaster melanostoma (Eigenmann 1907)    melanos, black; stomus, mouth, referring to black upper lip

Rhinosardinia Eigenmann 1912    rhinos, nose or snout, allusion not specified, perhaps referring to unique (among clupeids) retrorse spine on upper part of maxilla (and near snout), or to fact that dorsal and ventral fins are equidistant from tip of snout; sardinia, a sardine

Rhinosardinia amazonica (Steindachner 1879)    ica, belonging to: the Amazon, referring to Amazon River at Pará, Brazil (type locality)

Rhinosardinia bahiensis (Steindachner 1879)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Bahia, Brazil, type locality

Sardina Antipa 1904    a sardine (derived from sardina, a kind of fish caught near Sardinia and pickled)

Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum 1792)    latinization of pilchard, Old English word for this fish (origin unknown according to the OED)

Sardinella Valenciennes 1847    diminutive of Sardina, a sardine, “similar to the external form of a sardine” (translation)

Subgenus Sardinella                        

Sardinella aurita Valenciennes 1847    eared, probably referring to black spot at hind border of gill cover

Sardinella brasiliensis (Steindachner 1879)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), type locality

Sardinella lemuru Bleeker 1853    from Ikan Lemuru, local name in Jakarta (formerly Batavia), Indonesia (ikan = fish)

Sardinella longiceps Valenciennes 1847    longus, long; ceps, head, referring to “long, thick head” (translation)

Sardinella neglecta Wongratana 1983    neglected or overlooked, presumably referring to previous misidentification as Amblygaster posterus (=Sardinella lemuru)

Subgenus Clupeonia Valenciennes 1847    ia, pertaining to: Clupea, genus to which some species had originally been assigned

Sardinella albella (Valenciennes 1847)    presumably a diminutive of albus, white, referring to bright silver coloration

Sardinella atricauda (Günther 1868)    atri-, black; cauda, tail, referring to deep black tip of each caudal lobe (which may disappear in preserved specimens)

Sardinella brachysoma Bleeker 1852    brachys, short; soma, body, presumably referring to shorter (but deeper) body compared to S. lemuru

Sardinella dayi Regan 1917   in memory of Francis Day (1830-1889), Inspector-General of Fisheries in India and author of “Fishes of India” (1889),  an important monograph on Indian fishes

Sardinella fijiensis (Fowler & Bean 1923)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Fiji Islands, type locality

Sardinella fimbriata (Valenciennes 1847)    fringed, referring to scales with fringed (i.e., striated, serrated or indented) margins

Sardinella gibbosa (Bleeker 1849)    humpbacked, referring to elevated back (“dorso medio in gibbam elevato”)

Sardinella goni Stern, Rinkevich & Goren 2016    in honor of Ofer Gon, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, for his “extensive study” of the taxonomy of Indian Ocean fishes

Sardinella hualiensis (Chu & Tsai 1958)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Hualien, Taitung, east coast of Taiwan Island, type locality

Sardinella jonesi Lazarus 1983    in honor of S. Jones, former director of the Central Marine Fisheries Institute (Kochi, India), under whom Lazarus started his research career, to honor his 70th birthday as type material was collected from place of his birth

Sardinella jussieu (Lacepède 1803)    in honor of botanist Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (1748-1836), for sharing an unpublished 1770 manuscript about the fish written by Philibert Commerçon

Sardinella maderensis (Lowe 1838)    ensis, suffix denoting place: off the coast of Madeira, type locality

Sardinella marquesensis Berry & Whitehead 1968    ensis, suffix denoting place: Marquesas Islands, where it is endemic

Sardinella melanura (Cuvier 1829)    melanos, black; oura, tail, referring to black tips of caudal fin

Sardinella richardsoni Wongratana 1983    in honor of surgeon-naturalist John Richardson (1787-1865), who described this fish in 1846 as Clupea isingleena (a name later rejected by International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature)

Sardinella rouxi (Poll 1953)    in honor of Charles Roux, director, Centre oceanographique de Pointe-Noire, who provided some “interesting material” (translation) regarding this fish

Sardinella sindensis (Day 1878)    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Sindh province of Pakistan, referring to type locality at Karachi

Sardinella tawilis (Herre 1927)    local Tagalog (Philippines) name for this fish

Sardinella zunasi (Bleeker 1854)    Japanese vernacular for this fish (described from Nagasaki); also spelled zunashi

Sardinops Hubbs 1929    ops, appearance, referring to similarity to and previous confusion with Sardina

Sardinops melanosticta (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    melanos, black; stiktos, spotted, referring to dark spots along flank

Sardinops ocellatus (Pappe 1853)    referring to 8-15 black ocelli, or eyespots, extending from upper edge of operculum across entire length of body

Sardinops sagax sagax (Jenyns 1842)    wise, acute or sharp, allusion not evident, perhaps referring to larger, longer head compared to Sardina pilchardus

Sardinops sagax caeruleus (Girard 1854)    blue, referring to darkish-blue coloration above

Sardinops sagax musica (Girard 1855)    etymology not explained nor can be inferred from available evidence; perhaps Girard, who sometimes coined names based on euphony, liked the “musical” sound of this name (originally described as Alosa musica)

Sardinops sagax neopilchardus (Steindachner 1879)    neo, new, i.e., a new pilchard, referring to similarity of strongly striated operculum with Clupea (=Sardina) pilchardus

Sprattus Girgensohn 1846    latinization of sprat, from the Old English sprot, herring or herring-like fish, from the name Clupea sprattus, the European Sprat (which Girgensohn apparently renamed Sprattus haleciformis to avoid Strickland tautonomy)

Sprattus antipodum (Hector 1872)    um, adjectival suffix: referring to the Antipodes, i.e., the other side of the globe, referring to New Zealand distribution, figuratively the other side of the world from the British Isles

Sprattus fuegensis (Jenyns 1842)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Tierra del Fuego (off Cape Ines), type locality

Sprattus muelleri (Klunzinger 1879)    in honor of physician, geographer and botanist Ferdinand von Mueller (1825-1896), who donated his extensive collection of Australian plant and animal specimens, including type of this species, to what is now the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)

Sprattus novaehollandiae (Valenciennes 1847)    of New Holland, historic name for Australia, type locality and primary distribution (may also occur in New Zealand)

Sprattus sprattus sprattus (Linnaeus 1758)    latinization of sprat, from the Old English sprot, herring or herring-like fish, a word historically applied to this species

Sprattus sprattus balticus Schneider 1908    icus, belonging to: the Baltic, referring to distribution in Baltic Sea

Sprattus sprattus phalericus (Risso 1827)    etymology not explained: name dates to Rondelet (1554) and even further back to Aristotle, who wrote about an aphya (small fish or herring) from Phalerica (modern-day Faliro, the western harbor of Athens, although Risso’s specimen was from France); Rondelet says phaleria means “white and foamy” (translation), referring to its radiance

Strangomera Whitehead 1965    strangos, bent or twisted; meros, a part, referring to bent epibranchial gill rakers

Strangomera bentincki (Norman 1936)    in honor of V. Cavendish Bentinck, British Embassy, Santiago, Chile, whose “kindness” led to the donation of a “very interesting” collection of Chilean marine fishes, including type of this one, to the British Museum (Natural History)


Subfamily ALOSINAE Shads
8 genera/subgenera · 56 species/subspecies

Alosa Linck 1790    presumably tautonymous with Clupea alosa (no species mentioned): from the Saxon allis, old name of European Shad

Subgenus Alosa                                 

Alosa agone (Scopoli 1786)    agoni, Italian for shad (described from Lago Maggiore, Italy)

Alosa alabamae Jordan & Evermann 1896  of Alabama (USA), type locality

Alosa algeriensis Regan 1916    ensis, suffix denoting place: Algeria, type locality

Alosa alosa (Linnaeus 1758)    from the Saxon allis, old name of European Shad

Alosa braschnikowi braschnikowi (Borodin 1904)    in honor of zoologist Wladimir Braschnikow, who noted this species as a distinct variety of A. saposchnikowii in 1898

Alosa braschnikowi agrachanica (Mikhailovsky 1941)    ica, pertaining to: meaning not specified but likely referring to Agrakhan Bay, western coast of Caspian Sea, where it spawns during May-June

Alosa braschnikowi autumnalis (Berg 1915)    autumnal, being the only herring that occurs in the southern Caspain Sea in the fall (Sept.-Oct.)

Alosa braschnikowi grimmi (Borodin 1904)    in honor of Russian ichthyologist Oscar von Grimm, whose 1887 work on Astrakhan herrings is frequently cited by Borodin

Alosa braschnikowi kisselevitschi (Bulgakov 1926)    in honor of K. A. Kisselevitsch (also spelled Kisselevitz), authority on Caspian-Volgan clupeids, who worked with Bulgakov to study the only known specimen of this shad and to locate more

Alosa braschnikowi nirchi (Morozov 1928)    named after Morozov’s employer, Scientific Institute of Fisheries (Moscow), whose initials, when transliterated into English, spell the acronym NIRCH (N=Scientific, I=Institute, R=Fish, Ch=Industry)

Alosa braschnikowi orientalis (Mikhallovsky 1941)    eastern, referring to distribution in eastern part of southern Caspian Sea

Alosa braschnikowi sarensis (Mikhallovsky 1941)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sara Island, Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, type locality

Alosa caspia caspia (Eichwald 1838)    referring to distribution in the Caspian Sea basin

Alosa caspia bulgarica Drensky 1934    Bulgarian, referring to country where it is endemic

Alosa caspia knipowitschi (Iljin 1927)    in honor of Nikolai Mikhailovich Knipovich (1862-1938), prominent Caspian Sea biologist and leader of several Caspian expeditions (1904-1915), in a Festschrift commemorating his 40 years of scientific research

Alosa caspia nordmanni Antipa 1904    in honor of Finnish zoologist Alexander von Nordmann (1803-1866), who described Clupeonella cultriventris and whose 1840 work on Black Sea fishes is frequently cited by Antipa

Alosa caspia palaeostomi (Sadowsky 1934)    referring to Palaeostomi Lake, west Georgia (Eurasia), type locality

Alosa caspia persica (Iljin 1927)    ica, belonging to: Persia (ancient name of Iran), referring to type locality in Iranian portion of Caspian Sea

Alosa caspia salina (Svetovidov 1936)    of salt or salty, referring to its spawning in “very saline water” in the Caspian Sea

Alosa curensis (Suvorov 1907)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Kura River, Azerbaijan, type locality

Alosa fallax fallax (Lacepède 1803)    false or deceitful, probably referring to French vernacular la feinte (a fake), presumably an allusion to its frequent confusion with sympatric A. alosa (i.e, a fake or false shad)

Alosa fallax nilotica (Geoffroy St. Hillaire 1809)    ica, belonging to: Nile River, type locality (an anadromous species, widely distributed in Mediterranean and Adriatic)

Alosa immaculata Bennett 1835    im-, not; maculata, spotted, presumably referring to unspotted flanks (other European Alosa known at the time are spotted, e.g., A. alosa, A. fallax)

Alosa kessleri (Grimm 1887)    in honor of Karl Federovich Kessler (1815-1881), authority on fishes of the Volga Delta (type locality)

Alosa killarnensis Regan 1916    ensis, suffix denoting place: Killarney Lake, Ireland, where it is endemic

Alosa macedonica (Vinciguerra 1921)    Macedonian, referring to Lake Besikia (Volvi), Macedonia, Greece (type locality)

Alosa maeotica (Grimm 1901)    ica, belonging to: Maeotis, ancient name for Sea of Azov, where it occurs (also occurs in Black Sea basin)

Alosa pontica (Eichwald 1838)    ica, belonging to: Pontos, or Black Sea, type locality (also occurs in Sea of Azov)

Alosa sapidissima (Wilson 1811)    most delicious: the very two words Wilson used to describe the palatability of this shad

Alosa saposchnikowii (Grimm 1887)    in honor of A. A. Sapozhnikov, who ran Sapozhnikov Brothers, oldest fishery company in Astrakhan, who helped Grimm with his Caspian Sea research

Alosa sphaerocephala (Berg 1913)    sphaero-, ball; cephalus, head, referring to rounded (convex) upper profile of head

Alosa suworowi (Berg 1913)    in honor of Soviet ichthyologist Evgenii Konstantinovich Suvorov (1880-1953), who was the first scientist to work with this shad (presumably meaning he was the first to recognize it as a distinct taxon)

Alosa tanaica (Grimm 1901)    ica, belonging to: Tana or Tanais, medieval trading city on the Sea of Azov, where it occurs (also in Black Sea basin)

Alosa vistonica Economidis & Sinis 1986    ica, belonging to: Lake Vistonis, Greece, only known distribution

Alosa volgensis (Berg 1913)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Volga River, Russia, type locality

Subgenus Pomolobus Rafinesque 1820     pomo, opercle; lobus, lobe, referring to lobed opercles Rafinesque used to distinguish “goldshads” from “herrings” (i.e., other alosines)

Alosa aestivalis (Mitchill 1814)    of the summer, presumably referring to later spawning run compared to A. pseudoharengus (Mitchill called it the “Summer Herring”)

Alosa chrysochloris (Rafinesque 1820)    chryso, gold; chloris, green, referring to greenish-gold dorsal coloration

Alosa mediocris (Mitchill 1814)    mediocre, referring to taste or food value compared to A. sapidissima

Alosa pseudoharengus (Wilson 1811)    pseudo-, false; harengus, low Latin for herring, described as “not so fat as European Herring” (A. alosa or A. fallax)

Brevoortia Gill 1861    in honor of James Carson Brevoort (1818-1887), “the well known ichthyologist of New York” (Brevoort was a businessman and philanthropist who supported various literary and scientific societies and institutions and was himself a fine amateur naturalist; his zoological library was then reputed to be the finest in the country)

Brevoortia aurea (Spix & Agassiz 1829)    golden, referring to golden sides and abdomen and/or golden-silver operculum

Brevoortia gunteri Hildebrand 1948    in honor of marine biologist Gordon Gunter (1909-1998), University of Texas, for “his good work on the aquatic animals of the Gulf coast,” and for supplying type (which he noted was distinct in a 1945 publication)

Brevoortia patronus Goode 1878    patron, referring to the ever-present copepod, Cymothoa praegustator, on roof of mouth

Brevoortia pectinata (Jenyns 1842)    comb-toothed, referring to strongly pectinated scales

Brevoortia smithi Hildebrand 1941    in honor of ichthyologist Hugh M. Smith (1865-1941), Hildebrand’s former chief at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, for his “outstanding accomplishments in fishery research” and “useful” book, The Fishes of North Carolina (1907)

Brevoortia tyrannus (Latrobe 1802)    ruler, so named for its relationship to a copepod (Cymothoa praegustator, a “pretaster”) that lives in the mouths of many specimens and thus represents “the minion of a tyrant … for he is not without those who suck him” (i.e., like all tyrants, this fish has parasites or hangers-on (perhaps reflecting Latrobe’s enthusiasm for American independence from England)

Ethmalosa Regan 1917    ethmos, sieve or strainer, referring to extremely fine gill rakers, which it uses to filter phytoplankton from water; alosa, from the Saxon allis, old name of the European shad probably used here as a general term for herring or shad

Ethmalosa fimbriata (Bowdich 1825)    fringed, referring to fringed scales, “which makes the fish have a very peculiar appearance”

Ethmidium Thompson 1916    etymology not explained, probably ethmos, sieve or strainer, referring to long and numerous gill rakers; meaning and relevance of midium uncertain, perhaps a variant of medius, middle, referring to dorsal fin insertion midway between snout and caudal base, a character Thompson used to distinguish genus from the similar Brevoortia

Ethmidium maculatum maculatum (Valenciennes 1847)    spotted, referring to scattered spots on silver flank

Ethmidium maculatum chilcae Hildebrand 1946    of Chilca Bay, Peru, type locality (this subspecies occurs largely off coast of Peru, while nominate subspecies occurs off coast of Chile)

Gudusia Fowler 1911    from Gudusa, a “native name” in India, presumably of type species, G. chapra

Gudusia chapra (Hamilton 1822)    probably referring to Chapra District (also known as Saran), Bihar, India, type locality

Gudusia variegata (Day 1870)    variegated, referring to combination of colors and markings: silvery glossed with gold, a dark humeral spot, ~18 dorsal saddles, black band on lower posterior half of dorsal fin, and black tips on end of tail

Hilsa Regan 1917    Bengali vernacular for large clupeids (usually referring to Tenulosa ilisha) often used as food

Hilsa kelee (Cuvier 1829)    name dates from Russel (1803), presumably local vernacular at Vishakhapatnam, India, Bay of Bengal

Tenualosa Fowler 1934    tenuis, slender, presumably referring to narrow parietal ridges; alosa, from the Saxon allis, old name of the European shad, referring to original generic placement of type species, Alosa reevesii

Tenualosa ilisha (Hamilton 1822)    latinization of ilish, Bengali vernacular usually applied to this clupeid

Tenualosa macrura (Bleeker 1852)     macro-, long; oura, tail, referring to long caudal fin, 40-42% of standard length, with long pointed lobes

Tenualosa reevesii (Richardson 1846)    in honor of naturalist John Reeves (1774-1856), who deposited in the British Museum specimens of many Chinese fishes he illustrated, including type of this one

Tenualosa thibaudeaui (Durand 1940)    in honor of Emmanuel Thibaudeau, Résident Supérieur, Cambodia (described from Phnom-Penh)

Tenualosa toli (Valenciennes 1847)     presumably vernacular for this species in Pondicherry, India, as recorded by Jean-Jacques Dussumier (1792–1883), voyager and merchant who collected zoological specimens from southeastern Asia and the Indian Ocean


Subfamily DOROSOMATINE Gizzard Shads
7 genera/subgenera · 24 species

Anodontostoma Bleeker 1849    an-, without; odonto-, tooth; stoma, mouth, presumably referring to toothless mouth

Anodontostoma chacunda (Hamilton 1822)    local Indian vernacular for this shad

Anodontostoma selangkat (Bleeker 1852) from Ikan Selangkat, local name in Jakarta (formerly Batavia), Indonesia (Ikan = fish)

Anodontostoma thailandiae Wongratana 1983    of Thailand, referring to Gulf of Thailand, type locality (Wongratana believes this is first use of name thailandiae in ichthyological literature, all previous references to country being styled as siamensis and variations thereof)

Clupanodon Lacepède 1803    clupea, herring; ano, without, don, teeth, referring to toothless vomer compared to toothed vomer of Clupea

Clupanodon thrissa (Linnaeus 1758)    Greek word for a kind of anchovy, possibly derived from thrix, hair, referring to hair-like bones

Dorosoma Rafinesque 1820    dora, lanceolate; soma, body, allusion unclear, possibly referring to shape of body (larval specimens are lanceolate) or to elongated dorsal-fin ray

Subgenus Dorosoma                        

Dorosoma anale Meek 1904    anal, referring to long anal fin

Dorosoma cepedianum (Lesueur 1818)    anum, belonging to: Bernard-Germain-Étienne de La Ville-sur-Illon, comte de [count of] La Cepède (also spelled as La Cépède, Lacépède, or Lacepède, 1756-1825), author of the first five volumes of Histoire Naturelle des Poissons

Dorosoma chavesi Meek 1907    in honor of Dioclesiano Chaves, taxidermist, National Museum of Nicaragua, for assistance in collecting in Lakes Tiscapa and Managua

Dorosoma smithi Hubbs & Miller 1941    in honor of Hugh M. Smith (1865-1941), “worthy colleague of such masters as Jordan and Gilbert and Evermann,” all members of America’s “greatest school of ichthyologists”

Subgenus Signalosa Evermann & Kendall 1898    signum, flagstaff or pole, referring to elongated dorsal fin ray; alosa, from the Saxon allis, old name of the European shad

Dorosoma petenense (Günther 1867)    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Peten, Guatemala, type locality

Gonialosa Regan 1917    gonia, angle, probably referring to how mouth cleft forms an angle; alosa, from the Saxon allis, old name of the European shad, probably used here as a general term for herring or shad

Gonialosa manmina (Hamilton 1822)    presumably a local Bengali name, as it was Hamilton’s practice to derive trivial names “from some of those used by the natives of India” (also spelled manminna)

Gonialosa modesta (Day 1870)    modest or unassuming, probably referring to uniform coloration

Gonialosa whiteheadi Wongratana 1983    in honor of Peter J. P. Whitehead (1930-1993), British Museum (Natural History), who encouraged Wongratana to make Indo-Pacific clupeoids the subject of his thesis

Konosirus Jordan & Snyder 1900    latinization of Konoshiro, Japanese name of K. punctatus

Konosirus punctatus (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    spotted, referring to dark spot behind gill opening and/or several lines of dark dots along flank

Nematalosa Regan 1917    nemato-, thread, referring to long, filamentous last ray of dorsal fin; alosa, from the Saxon allis, old name of the European shad, probably used here as a general term for herring or shad

Nematalosa arabica Regan 1917    Arabian, referring to type locality at Muscat, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea

Nematalosa come (Richardson 1846)    kome, local vernacular for this species off Coromandel Coast of India

Nematalosa erebi (Günther 1868)    in honor of H.M.S. Erebus, from which type, originally identified as Chatoesus (=N.) come, was collected

Nematalosa flyensis Wongratana 1983    ensis, suffix denoting place: Fly River, Papua New Guinea, type locality

Nematalosa galatheae Nelson & Rothman 1973    in honor of the Danish Galathea Expedition, which collected first-known specimens

Nematalosa japonica Regan 1917    Japanese, referring to Inland Sea of Japan, type locality

Nematalosa nasus (Bloch 1795)    nose, referring to rounded and projected snout (characteristic of genus)

Nematalosa papuensis (Munro 1964)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Papua New Guinea, where it is endemic

Nematalosa persara Nelson & McCarthy 1995    combination and abbreviation of Persian and Arabian, referring to distribution in Persian/Arabian Gulf and northern Arabian Sea to Pakistan

Nematalosa resticularia Nelson & McCarthy 1995    a maker of small ropes, referring to large size and texture of intestinal diverticula

Nematalosa vlaminghi (Munro 1956)    patronym not identified but probably in honor of Willem de Vlamingh (1640-c. 1698), Dutch sea captain who explored western Australia (general location of this species)