Order GADIFORMES: Families EUCLICHTHYIDAE, MORIDAE, MACRURONIDAE, MERLUCCIIDAE, RANICIPITIDAE, BREGMACEROTIDAE, MURAENOLEPIDIDAE and GADIDAE

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v. 1.0 – 24 Jan. 2017  view/download PDF

Family EUCLICHTHYIDAE Eucla Cod

Euclichthys McCulloch 1926    Eucla, referring to Great Australian Bight southwest of Eucla, Southern Australia, type locality; ichthys, fish

Euclichthys polynemus McCulloch 1926    poly, many; nema, thread, presumably referring to pelvic fins under head, each with four long rays, the longest reaching the anus


Family MORIDAE Deepsea Cods
18 genera · 108 species/subspecies   

Antimora Günther 1878    anti-, opposed to or like, referring to how “imperfect division” of anal fin “approaches” the genus Mora

Antimora microlepis Bean 1890    micro-, small; lepis, scale, described as “very small,” ~130 along lateral line

Antimora rostrata (Günther 1878)    beaked, referring to its “peculiarly produced snout, which forms a short, triangular, pointed lamina, sharply keeled on the sides, and overreaching the cleft of the mouth”

Auchenoceros Günther 1889    auchenos, nape or neck; ceros, horn, presumably referring to anterior dorsal fin “reduced to a single long ray on the neck”

Auchenoceros punctatus (Hutton 1873)    spotted, referring to “minute black dots” on back, tail and base of pectoral fins

Eeyorius Paulin 1986    named for Eeyore, “a literary character who lived in damp places” (no other explanation given); presumably this is Eeyore, the gloomy stuffed donkey in the “Winnie-the-Pooh” books, but as a forest resident his supposed connection to “damp places” is not evident to us

Eeyorius hutchinsi Paulin 1986    in honor of ichthyologist Barry Hutchins (b. 1946), Western Australian Museum, who collected type

Eretmophorus Giglioli 1889    eretmon, oar; phoros, carrier, referring to median three ventral-fin rays, which are “greatly elongated and furnished at the end with a beautiful lanceolate paddlelike blade” [italics in original]

Eretmophorus kleinenbergi Giglioli 1889    in honor of Nicolaus Kleinenberg (1842-1897), director of the Zoological Institute of Messina University, who provided three specimens and “many other ichthyological rarities”

Gadella Lowe 1843    etymology not explained, presumably a diminutive of gadus, cod, possibly referring to small size (~10 cm) of the single specimen of G. gracilis (=maraldi) that Lowe examined

Gadella brocca Paulin & Roberts 1997    broccus, teeth, referring to its prominent dentition

Gadella dancoheni Sazonov & Shcherbachev 2000    in honor of Daniel M. Cohen, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, friend and colleague, for his important and well-known papers on the family; in addition, Cohen took part on the cruise during which type was collected

Gadella edelmanni (Brauer 1906)    patronym not identified, possibly in honor of Edelmann (forename not available), a machinist on the Valdivia Expedition (1888-1899) that collected type

Gadella filifer (Garman 1899)    filum, thread; fero, to bear, referring to third ray of first dorsal fin, “prolonged in a filament, longer than the head”

Gadella imberbis (Vaillant 1888)    beardless, referring to absence of mental barbel (a diagnostic feature of the genus)

Gadella jordani (Böhlke & Mead 1951)    in honor of ichthyologist David Starr Jordan (1851-1931), former President and Chancellor of Stanford University, where type is housed, and a student of gadiform fishes from Japan (where this one is from)

Gadella macrura Sazonov & Shcherbachev 2000    macro-, long; oura, tail, referring to elongated tail common to other Indian Ocean species of the genus (dancoheni, edelmanni, jordani)

Gadella maraldi (Risso 1810)    in honor of Giacomo F. Maraldi (1665-1729, also known as Jacques Maraldi), French-Italian astronomer and mathematician [a noun in apposition, without the patronymic “i”]

Gadella molokaiensis Paulin 1989    ensis, suffix denoting place: Island of Molokai, Hawaiian Islands, where several paratype specimens were collected

Gadella obscurus (Parin 1984)    dark, referring to its “overall shade coloration” (translation)

Gadella svetovidovi Trunov 1992    in honor of Russian ichthyologist Anatolii Nikolaevich Svetovidov (1903-1985), for “great contributions” (translation) to the study of gadiform fishes

Gadella thysthlon Long & McCosker 1998    sacred torch used to ignite ceremonial fires during festivities that celebrated Bacchus (Roman) or Dionysus (Greek), the god of wine and revelry, referring to bright orange-red fins emanating from a dark body, resembling a torch

Guttigadus Taki 1953    gutti-, etymology not explained, perhaps guttiform, shaped like a drop, referring to anterior body shape of G. nana; gadus, a cod or gadiform fish

Guttigadus globiceps (Gilchrist 1906)    globus, globe or sphere; cephalus, head, referring to its globular head

Guttigadus globosus (Paulin 1986)    spherical, referring to its very large globular head

Guttigadus kongi (Markle & Meléndez C. 1988)    in honor of ichthyologist Ismael Kong Urbina (1942-2008), University of Antofagasta (Chile), collector of the type material and “ardent friend” of Chilean ichthyology

Guttigadus latifrons (Holt & Byrne 1908)    latus, broad; frons, forehead, presumably referring to its shape (“rather massive anteriorly”) and/or “broad and somewhat depressed” head

Guttigadus nana (Taki 1953)    dwarf, referring to its small size, described at 74 mm TL

Guttigadus nudicephalus (Trunov 1990)    nudus, bare or naked; cephalus, head, referring to head “practically devoid” (translation) of scales

Guttigadus nudirostris (Trunov 1990)    nudus, bare or naked; rostris, snout, referring to snout “practically devoid” (translation) of scales

Guttigadus squamirostris (Trunov 1990)    squamis, scale; rostris, snout, referring to presence of scales on snout (compared to G. nudirostris)

Halargyreus Günther 1862    etymology not explained, perhaps halos, of the sea, referring to deep-sea habitat; argyreus, silvery, referring to its color (“delicate red on silvery ground”)

Halargyreus johnsonii Günther 1862    in honor of English naturalist James Yate Johnson (1820-1900), who presented type

Laemonema Günther 1862    laemo-, throat; nema, thread, presumably referring to “very slender” chin barbel of L. yarrellii and/or L. robustum

Laemonema barbatulum Goode & Bean 1883    diminutive of barbata, barbled, referring to small barbel, “half as long as the diameter of the eye”

Laemonema compressicauda (Gilchrist 1903)    compressa, compressed; cauda, tail, allusion not explained, presumably referring to its slender caudal fin, a character not mentioned but clearly evident in the illustration that accompanied the description

Laemonema filodorsale Okamura 1982    filum, thread; dorsalis, dorsal, referring to first dorsal-fin ray prolonged as a filament

Laemonema goodebeanorum Meléndez C. & Markle 1997    orum, commemorative suffix, plural: in honor of George Brown Goode (1851-1896) and Tarleton H. Bean (1846-1916), for their 1896 monograph Oceanic Ichthyology

Laemonema gracillipes Garman 1899    gracilis, thin or slender; pes, foot, referring to “slender” ventral fins

Laemonema laureysi Poll 1953    in honor of J. Laureys, commander of the expedition trawler from which type was collected

Laemonema longipes Schmidt 1938    longus, long; pes, foot, referring to “very long” ventral-fin rays, “cirrus-like, reaching by their tips nearly to middle of body length”

Laemonema macronema Meléndez C. & Markle 1997    macro-, long; [c]nemo-, legging, referring to long “leggings or fin rays,” specifically the pelvic-fin rays

Laemonema melanurum Goode & Bean 1896    melanos, black; oura, tail, referring to “dark blotch occupying almost the whole of the caudal, leaving a margin of whitish around it”

Laemonema modestum (Franz 1910)    modest or unassuming, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to its brown color and/or short dorsal-fin filament compared to Lepidion inosimae, its presumed congener at the time

Laemonema rhodochir Gilbert 1905    rhodo-, rosy; cheiros, hand, referring to orange-red pectoral fins

Laemonema robustum Johnson 1862    robust or full-bodied, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to anterior part of body (“thick before, much depressed behind”)

Laemonema verecundum (Jordan & Cramer 1897)    according to Jordan & Evermann (1898): modest, allusion not explained, possibly referring to non-filamentous (and therefore modest) first dorsal fin compared to filamentous first dorsal fin of Lepidion lepidion, its presumed congener at the time

Laemonema yarrellii (Lowe 1838)    in honor of English zoologist William Yarrell (1784-1856), expressing both a “public tribute to one of our ablest ichthyologists” and “private acknowledgements to the friend who first drew my attention to this very distinct and pretty species”

Laemonema yuvto Parin & Sazonov 1990    abbreviation based on the vernacular term used by Russian fishermen for the southeastern Pacific Ocean (where this species occurs), Yugo-Vostochnaya chast Tikhogo Okeana

Lepidion Swainson 1838    tautonymous with Gadus lepidion (which Swainson unnecessarily renamed as L. rissoii and, a year later, L. rubescens)

Lepidion capensis Gilchrist 1922    ensis, suffix denoting place: presumably referring to its occurrence off the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Lepidion ensiferus (Günther 1887)    ensis, sword; fero-, to bear, presumably referring to long dorsal-fin ray (at least in males), “strongly compressed, broad, shaped like a blade of grass”

Lepidion guentheri (Giglioli 1880)    in honor of ichthyologist-herpetologist Albert Günther (1830-1914), who identified this species as Haloporphyrus (=Lepidion) lepidion in 1862

Lepidion inosimae (Günther 1887)    of Inosima, Japan, type locality (but occurs antritropically in western and central Pacific)

Lepidion lepidion (Risso 1810)   diminutive of lepis, scale, referring to its “small smooth scales, strongly adherent to the skin” (translation)

Lepidion microcephalus Cowper 1956    micro-, small; cephalus, head, referring to its “comparatively small” head relative to congeners

Lepidion natalensis Gilchrist 1922    ensis, suffix denoting place: off the Natal coast (now called KwaZulu-Natal coast) of South Africa, type locality

Lepidion schmidti Svetovidov 1936    in honor of Soviet ichthyologist Petr Yulievich Schmidt (1872-1949), who identified this cod as L. inosimae in 1931

Lotella Kaup 1858    diminutive of Lota, original genus of type species, L. phycis (which Kaup unnecessarily renamed as L. schlegeli)

Lotella fernandeziana Rendahl 1921    iana, belonging to: Juan Fernández Islands, where it is endemic

Lotella phycis (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    etymology not explained, perhaps referring to general resemblance to Phycis phycis (Gadidae), or perhaps used as a general term for a cod or cod-like fish

Lotella rhacina (Forster 1801)    Rhacinus, ancient name for a small black fish, dating to “Halieutica” (“On Fishing”), a fragmentary didactic poem spuriously attributed to Ovid, circa AD 17; according to Forster’s full description (posthumously published in 1844), it seemed a fitting name for what he described as a uniform sooty black fish (actually, the fish is brown; interestingly, one Latin-English dictionary we consulted defined Rhacinus as a “fish of brown colour”)

Lotella tosaensis (Kamohara 1936)   ensis, suffix denoting place: off Tosa Province, Shikoku, Japan, type locality

Mora Risso 1827    moro, vernacular name for this species in France and Italy (see species); Risso changed spelling to “mora” apparently to agree with type species, Mora mediterranea, an unnecessary replacement name for M. moro

Mora moro (Risso 1810)    vernacular name for this species in France and Italy, presumably derived from morrhua, New Latin for cod

Notophycis Sazonov 2001    notos, southern, referring to the distribution of N. marginata in the Southern Hemisphere; Phycis, a generic name from Gadidae, here used as a general term for a cod or cod-like fish

Notophycis fitchi Sazonov 2001    in honor of the late John E. Fitch (1918-1982), marine and fisheries biologist, California Department of Fish and Game, the senior author of a 1972 study on the structure of otoliths in N. marginata

Notophycis marginata marginata (Günther 1878)    on the edge or margin, presumably referring to “outer series of distinctly larger teeth” on jaws

Notophycis marginata tasmaniensis Sazonov 2001    ensis, suffix denoting place: Tasman Sea, off New South Wales and Tasmania, where it occurs

Notophycis marginata trunovi Sazonov 2001    in honor of ichthyologist Ivan Andreevich Trunov (1936-2005), Atlantic Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, who first noted the existence of this form in 1992, and who studied morid and other bathyal fishes of the southeastern Atlantic

Physiculus Kaup 1858    etymology not explained, presumably a diminutive of Phycis, a generic name from Gadidae, possibly used as a general term for a cod or cod-like fish

Physiculus andriashevi Shcherbachev 1993    in honor of Russian ichthyologist Anatoly Petrovich Andriashev (1910-2009)

Physiculus argyropastus Alcock 1894    arguros, silver; pastos, sprinkled, presumably referring to color in spirits: “light pinkish brown, with a silvery sheen”

Physiculus beckeri Shcherbachev 1993    in honor of ichthyologist Vladimir Eduardovich Becker, Institute of Oceanology (Moscow)

Physiculus bertelseni Shcherbachev 1993    in honor of Danish ichthyologist Erik Bertelsen (1912-1993), for contributions to the study of deep-sea fishes

Physiculus capensis Gilchrist 1922    ensis, suffix denoting place: presumably referring to its occurrence off the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Physiculus chigodarana Paulin 1989    Japanese word meaning “small codfish” (known from Kagashima, Japan)

Physiculus coheni Paulin 1989    in honor of Daniel M. Cohen, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, for contributions to the knowledge of morid fishes

Physiculus cyanostrophus Anderson & Tweddle 2002    cyano, dark blue; strophus, belt or swaddling band, referring to distinctive blue pigment encircling body

Physiculus cynodon Sazonov 1986    cyno-, dog; odon, tooth, referring to uniserial fanged teeth in lower jaw

Physiculus dalwigki Kaup 1858    in honor of German statesman and “dear friend” Reinhard von Dalwigk (1802-1888), as a “small sign of my gratitude” (translations)

Physiculus fedorovi Shcherbachev 1993    in honor of Vladimir Vladimirovich Fedorov (b. 1939), Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg, for contributions to the study of deep-sea fishes, particularly those of the Pacific

Physiculus fulvus Bean 1884    brownish yellow, referring to “light yellowish-brown” general coloration (with undersurface of head, abdomen, margins of dorsal and anal fins, lips, and pectoral-fin axis a “very dark brown”)

Physiculus grinnelli Jordan & Jordan 1922    in honor of lepidopterist Fordyce Grinnell, Jr. (1882-1943), a former student of David Starr Jordan, who provided “efficient assistance” by visiting Honolulu fish markets daily

Physiculus helenaensis Paulin 1989    ensis, suffix denoting place: St. Helena, a volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic, where it is endemic

Physiculus hexacytus Parin 1984   hex, six; acytus, cavity, referring to presence of six pyloric caeca, an important diagnostic character

Physiculus huloti Poll 1953    in honor of A. Hulot, Institut National pour l’Etude Agronomique du Congo, “who successfully took on ichthyological observations during second half of expedition” from which type was collected (translation)

Physiculus japonicus Hilgendorf 1879    Japanese, referring to type locality off Yokohama, Japan (also occurs off Taiwan and Hawaiian Islands)

Physiculus karrerae Paulin 1989    in honor of German ichthyologist Christine Karrer, for her contributions to the knowledge of morid fishes

Physiculus kaupi Poey 1865    in honor of naturalist Johann Jacob Kaup (1803-1873), who proposed the genus Physiculus in 1858

Physiculus longicavis Parin 1984    longus, long; cavus, cavity, referring to great length of its abdominal cavity

Physiculus longifilis Weber 1913    longus, long; filum, thread, presumably referring to extended ray of first dorsal fin

Physiculus luminosa Paulin 1983    full of light, referring to light organ on belly

Physiculus marisrubri Brüss 1986    maris, sea; rubrus, red, referring to the Red Sea, where it is endemic

Physiculus maslowskii Trunov 1991    in memory of A. D. Maslovsky, Trunov’s first teacher, an Associate Professor in the Department of Hydrobiology, Khar’kov State University

Physiculus microbarbata Paulin & Matallanas 1990    micro-, small, barbata, bearded, referring to small barbel, <¼ diameter of orbit

Physiculus natalensis Gilchrist 1922    ensis, suffix denoting place: off the Natal coast (now called KwaZulu-Natal coast) of South Africa, type locality

Physiculus nematopus Gilbert 1890    nemato-, thread; pous, foot, referring to filamentous outer two rays of ventral fins

Physiculus nielseni Shcherbachev 1993    in honor of Danish ichthyologist Jørgen G. Nielsen (b. 1932), Zoological Museum of Copenaghen, for his major contributions to the study of deepwater fishes of the World Ocean

Physiculus nigrescens Smith & Radcliffe 1912    blackish, referring to “brownish black” ground color and/or “dusky” vertical fins

Physiculus nigripinnis Okamura 1982    niger, black; pinnis, fin, referring to its black fins

Physiculus normani Brüss 1986    in honor of ichthyologist J. R. (John Roxborough) Norman (1898-1944), British Museum (Natural History), who first described this cod but identified it as P. peregrinus in 1939

Physiculus parini Paulin 1991    in honor of ichthyologist Nikolai Vasil’evich Parin (1932-2012), Russian Academy of Sciences, for his contributions to the study of marine fishes of the southeastern Pacific Ocean

Physiculus peregrinus (Günther 1872)    foreign, exotic or strange, “the first instance of a true Gadoid being found in the East-Indian Archipelago”

Physiculus rastrelliger Gilbert 1890    rastrell, diminutive of rastrum, rake; –iger, to bear, having small (i.e., slender and numerous) gill rakers

Physiculus rhodopinnis Okamura 1982    rhodo-, rosy; pinnis, fin, referring to its “deep red” fins (but basal half of pectoral and dorsal fins black)

Physiculus roseus Alcock 1891    rosy, referring to its “uniform rose-red” coloration in life

Physiculus sazonovi Paulin 1991    in honor of Yuri I. Sazonov (d. 2002), curator of ichthyology, Zoological Museum, Moscow State University, who established that this species is distinct from P. parini

Physiculus sterops Paulin 1989    Greek for flashing, referring to light organ on belly

Physiculus sudanensis Paulin 1989    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sudan Coast, Red Sea, type locality

Physiculus talarae Hildebrand & Barton 1949    of Talara, Peru, type locality (but occurs northward in the eastern Pacific to Baja California)

Physiculus therosideros Paulin 1987    theros, summer; sideros, iron, named for the vessel Iron Summer, which conducted a deepwater survey for Queensland Fisheries Research (1982-1983) and collected specimens of this species

Physiculus yoshidae Okamura 1982    in honor of Miss Kiyoko Yoshida, who helped Okamura prepare the book in which this species was described

Pseudophycis Günther 1862    pseudo-, presumably referring to similarity with and/or close relationship to Phycis (both placed in the family Gadidae at the time)

Pseudophycis bachus Forster 1801    Bloch & Schneider’s misspelling of Forster’s manuscript name, bacchus, named for Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, referring to wine-red color of its body and fins

Pseudophycis barbata Günther 1863    bearded, probably referring to chin barbel

Pseudophycis breviuscula (Richardson 1846)    rather short, described as a “small ling,” reaching nearly 17.75 cm

Rhynchogadus Tortonese 1948    rhynchus, snout, referring to upwardly arching snout; gadus, a cod or gadiform fish [replacement name for Hypsirhynchus Facciolà 1884, preoccupied by Hypsirhynchus Günther 1858 in Reptilia]

Rhynchogadus hepaticus (Facciolà 1884)    of the liver, referring to its “unusually large” (translation) liver

Salilota Günther 1887    sale, road, referring to how S. australis “forms a passage to Lota [Gadidae], from which it differs by an entirely different form of the head”

Salilota australis (Günther 1878)    southern, referring to its occurrence in the Strait of Magellan (southern Chile)

Svetovidovia Cohen 1973    ia, belonging to: eponym not identified but clearly in honor of Russian ichthyologist of Anatolii Nikolaevich Svetovidov (1903-1985), who published several papers on gadiform fishes

Svetovidovia lucullus (Jensen 1953)    Lucullus (118-57/56 BC), a Roman consul and general famous for his wealth, luxury and banquets, allusion not explained nor evident [it is interesting to note that Jensen’s proposed (but unavailable) generic name for this species, is also taken from the name of a Roman, Gargilius (d. 260 AD), a writer on horticulture, botany and medicine]

Tripterophycis Boulenger 1902    tri-, three and ptero-, fin, referring to its three dorsal fins, “the first very small and on the nape, the second short and deep, behind the vertical of the vent, the third elongate and low, widely separated from the second and nearly reaching the caudal”; Phycis, presumed to occupy an “isolated position” among phycine fishes

Tripterophycis gilchristi Boulenger 1902    in honor of a Scottish-born South African ichthyologist John Dow Fisher Gilchrist (1866-1926), who discovered this species but gave Boulenger the “pleasure” of describing it

Tripterophycis svetovidovi Sazonov & Shcherbachev 1986    in honor of the late Anatolii Nikolaevich Svetovidov (1903-1985), who first confirmed the validity of the family Moridae and “made a great impact to its study” (translation)


Family MACRURONIDAE Southern Hakes
3 genera · 7 species/subspecies                       

Lyconodes Gilchrist 1922    –oides, having the form of: Lyconus, a related genus from the South Atlantic

Lyconodes argenteus Gilchrist 1922    silvery, referring to “marked silvery sheen, especially on the abdominal region”

Lyconus Günther 1887    wolf-like, presumably referring to two “canine-like” teeth on upper jaw and single “canine-like” tooth on each side of vomer of L. pinnatus

Lyconus brachycolus Holt & Byrne 1906    brachys, short; colus, limb, arm or leg, referring to shorter pectoral fins compared to L. pinnatus

Lyconus pinnatus Günther 1887    winged, presumably referring to “exceedingly elongate” pectoral fins, their middle rays extending far beyond the vent

Macruronus Günther 1873    etymology not explained, presumably Macrourus-like, perhaps reflecting its original placement in the macrourid genus Coryphaenoides

Macruronus capensis Davies 1950    ensis, suffix denoting place: off Cape Town, South Africa, type locality, first known record of genus in the Cape seas

Macruronus maderensis Maul 1951    ensis, suffix denoting place: off Madeira, eastern Atlantic, type locality

Macruronus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae (Hector 1871)    of New Zealand, referring to type locality off Ward Island, Port Nicholson

Macruronus novaezelandiae magellanicus Lönnberg 1907        referring to Magellan Region of Chile and Argentina (i.e., region around Strait of Magellan), where it occurs


Family MERLUCCIIDAE Hakes
1 genus · 17 species/subspecies                             

Merluccius Rafinesque 1810    presumably tautonymous with Gadus merluccius (although Rafinesque spelled the species name with one “c”); ancient name for hakes, derived from maris (sea) and lucius (pike), “sea pike”

Merluccius albidus (Mitchill 1818)    whitish, referring to its “white and silvery complexion” [preoccupied by Gadus albidus Gmelin 1789 (=Phycis blennoides in Gadidae), but perhaps can be retained based on prevailing usage]

Merluccius angustimanus Garman 1899    angustus, narrow; manus, hand, referring to “narrow, long” pectoral fins

Merluccius australis (Hutton 1872)    southern, referring to Cook Strait, New Zealand, type locality

Merluccius bilinearis (Mitchill 1814)    bi-, two; linearis, lined, referring to its “dark and double” lateral line (i.e., visual lines formed by the top and bottom margins of the large scales along its prominent lateral line)

Merluccius capensis Castelnau 1861   ensis, suffix denoting place: the Cape Colony (or Cape of Good Hope), referring to type locality in what is now South Africa

Merluccius gayi gayi (Guichenot 1848)    in honor of Claude (Claudio in Spanish texts) Gay (1800-1873), one of the first naturalists to explore Chile (where this species occurs), and who edited volume in which description appeared

Merluccius gayi peruanus Ginsburg 1954    Peruvian, proposed as a Peruvian subspecies of the otherwise Chilean nominate form

Merluccius hernandezi Mathews 1985    in honor of Capt. Felipe Hernandez Ascencio, Mexican Merchant Navy, for services given by him, the officers and crew of the reseach vessel Alejandro de Humboldt, from which type was collected

Merluccius hubbsi Marini 1933    in honor of Carl L. Hubbs (1894-1979), “one of the most distinguished” (translation) American ichthyologists; Hubbs supplied type material from the University of Michigan’s Division of Fishes

Merluccius merluccius merluccius (Linnaeus 1758)    ancient name for hakes, derived from maris (sea) and lucius (pike), “sea pike”

Merluccius merluccius smiridus Rafinesque 1810    latinization of smiriddu, local name for this hake along the coasts of Sicily, type locality

Merluccius paradoxus Franca 1960    strange or contrary to expectation, allusion not explained; perhaps referring to the existence of two nearly identical hakes, M. capensis and this species (proposed as a subspecies of capensis), with an overlapping distribution along the coast of southern Africa (it has since been discovered that M. paradoxus prefers deeper waters and M. capensis shallower waters on the continental shelf and slope; both are often harvested together)

Merluccius polli polli Cadenat 1950    in honor of Belgian ichthyologist Max Poll (1908-1991), who collected type

Merluccius polli cadenati Doutre 1960    in honor of ichthyologist Jean Cadenat (1908-1992), Director, Marine Biological Section of the Institute Français d’Afrique Noire (Gorée, Senegal), who studied the biology of Merluccius in Senegal and described the nominate subspecies, M. p. polli, in 1950

Merluccius polylepis Ginsburg 1954    poly, many; lepis, scale, having more scale rows along lateral line (182-186) compared to M. hubbsi (138-144)

Merluccius productus (Ayres 1855)    drawn out, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to its elongate, tapering body and/or to its head, “somewhat pointed anteriorly”

Merluccius senegalensis Cadenat 1950    ensis, suffix denoting place: Dakar, Coast of Senegal, type locality


Family RANICIPITIDAE Tadpole Cod                 

Raniceps Oken 1817    rana, frog; ceps, head, referring to its large, wide and depressed head, like that of a frog

Raniceps raninus (Linnaeus 1758)    frog-like, referring to its large, wide and depressed head, like that of a frog


Family BREGMACEROTIDAE Codlets
1 genus · 14 species

Bregmaceros Thompson 1840    bregma, top of head; ceros, horn, referring to occipital ray emerging from top of head of B. mcclellandi

Bregmaceros arabicus D’Ancona & Cavinato 1965    named for its type locality in the Arabian Sea

Bregmaceros atlanticus Goode & Bean 1886    referring to its occurrence in the Atlantic Ocean relative to the similar B. mcclellandi from the western Pacific (actually a circumglobal species, including the Mediterranean Sea)

Bregmaceros bathymaster Jordan & Bollman 1890    bathy, deep; master, seeker, allusion not explained, presumably referring to its habitat (holotype collected at 86 m)

Bregmaceros cantori Milliken & Houde 1984    in honor of Danish naturalist Theodor Edvard Cantor (1809-1860), who discovered and was the first to describe Bregmaceros in a manuscript that was “unfortunately mislaid” (see B. mcclellandi, below) [Milliken & Houde state that Cantor died before his manuscript could be published but do not mention that the manuscript had been lost]

Bregmaceros cayorum Nichols 1952    orum, belonging to: a cay (also spelled key, a small, low-elevation, sandy island on the surface of a coral reef), referring to type locality, “west of Cay Sal” in the Straits of Florida (USA)

Bregmaceros houdei Saksena & Richards 1986    in honor of Edward D. Houde (Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Maryland, USA), for providing type specimens and reviewing the authors’ manuscript (the authors note: “Dr. Houde’s name is often mispronounced, so please note that the pronounciation of houdei is hood-eye and not how-dee-eye, whodee-eye or hud-dee-eye”)

Bregmaceros japonicus Tanaka 1908    Japanese, proposed as a subspecies of B. atlanticus known only from Japan

Bregmaceros lanceolatus Shen 1960    pointed, referring to pointed caudal fin

Bregmaceros mcclellandi Thompson 1840    based on a manuscript name (“unfortunately mislaid”) by Danish naturalist Theodor Edvard Cantor (1809-1860), in honor of his friend John McClelland (1805-1875), physician and ichthyologist, “whose researches in the Biology and Geology of India [type locality] are well known” [sometimes spelled macclellandi]

Bregmaceros nectabanus Whitley 1941    etymology not explained; since Whitley sometimes coined fish names inspired by literary characters (e.g., Figaro, Malvoliophus), here’s a guess: named after Nectabanus, a dwarf in Sir Walter Scott’s 1825 novel The Talisman, referring to small size of Bregmaceros species in general (hence the common name Codlet) or the size of this species (described at 31.75 mm) in particular

Bregmaceros neonectabanus Masuda, Ozawa & Tabeta 1986    neo-, new, i.e., a new species previously identified as a form of B. nectabanus

Bregmaceros pescadorus Shen 1960    us, adjectival suffix: from the Pescadore Islands, Taiwan, type locality

Bregmaceros pseudolanceolatus Torii, Javonillo & Ozawa 2004    pseudo-, false, referring to close similarity to B. lanceolatus

Bregmaceros rarisquamosus Munro 1950    rarus, thinly scattered; squamosus, scaly, with “considerably less horizontal and vertical tracts of scales” compared to the similar B. nectabanus


Family MURAENOLEPIDIDAE Eel Cods
2 genera · 8 species

Muraenolepis Günther 1880    muraena, Latin for moray eel, but used here as term for eels in general; lepis, scale, referring to body of M. marmorata covered with “epidermoid productions which are lanceolate, intersecting with each other at right angles, like those of a fresh-water eel”

Muraenolepis andriashevi Balushkin & Prirodina 2005    in honor of Russian ichthyologist Anatoly Petrovich Andriashev (1910-2009), who at the time was about to reach his 95th birthday: “The authors have had the privilege to work with this remarkable scientist for many years, and he has proven to be a benevolent and wise guide, and an intelligent and widely-educated person. His fundamental scientific works and, to no smaller degree, his dedication to science and sense of responsibility will be an example to all researchers whose creative interests are related to the study of ichthyology and marine biogeography for years to come” (translation)

Muraenolepis evseenkoi Balushkin & Prirodina 2010    in honor of Sergei Afanas’evich Evseenko, for his considerable contribution to the study of Antarctic fishes

Muraenolepis kuderskii Balushkin & Prirodina 2007    in honor of Leonid Aleksandrovich Kuderski (or Kudersky), “famous ichthyologist, organizer of Russian fishery science, and an outstanding expert of the freshwater fishes of Russia” (translation), on the occasion of his 80th birthday

Muraenolepis marmorata Günther 1880    marbled, referring to its reddish body, “finely marbled with brown”

Muraenolepis orangiensis Vaillant 1888    ensis, suffix denoting place: Orange Bay, Strait of Magellan, type locality

Muraenolepis pacifica Prirodina & Balushkin 2007    referring to its occurrence in the Pacific Ocean (Antarctic Rise at Hercules and Umanov banks; also occurs in Southern Ocean)

Muraenolepis trunovi Balushkin & Prirodina 2006    in honor of ichthyologist Ivan Andreevich Trunov (1936-2005), Atlantic Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, “an enthusiastic and indefatigable investigator of the seas of the World Ocean …, a great expert in the marine ichthyofauna, and a remarkable fish collector … who made a substantial contribution to investigations of the species richness and to the taxonomy of many fish groups” and “artfully combined his fundamental investigations with the applied tasks of scouting and the commercial development of marine fish stock” (translation)

Notomuraenobathys Balushkin & Prirodina 2010    notos, southern; muraeno, abridgement of Muraenolepis; bathys, deep, referring to the distribution of M. microcephalus at bathyal depths of high latitudes of the Southern Ocean

Notomuraenobathys microcephalus (Norman 1937)    micro-, small; cephalus, head, referring to smaller head compared to Muraenolepis orangiensis, its presumed congener at the time


Family GADIDAE Cods and Haddocks
19 genera · 63 species/subspecies   

Subfamily PHYCINAE Phycid Hakes

Phycis Walbaum 1792    ancient name of a goby (probably Gobius niger), possibly derived from Greek, phykon, meaning seaweed, referring to the goby’s occurrence among Fucus (also derived from phykon), a brown algae; Rondelet applied the name to P. blennoides in 1555, which Artedi adopted as a generic name in his Philosophia ichthyologica of 1738, later made nomenclaturally available in Walbaum’s edition of Artedi’s work

Phycis blennoides (Brünnich 1768)    oides, having the form of: a blenny, intermediate in form between Gadus and Blennius (which it resembles), which were thought to be related at the time

Phycis chesteri Goode & Bean 1878    according to Goode & Bean (1896): in honor of Capt. Hubbard C. Chester (d. 1887), U.S. Fish Commission, sailing master of the Arctic exploring steamer Polaris and later engaged in deep-sea work, who collected type

Phycis phycis (Linnaeus 1766)    ancient name of a goby (probably Gobius niger), possibly derived from Greek, phykon, meaning seaweed, referring to the goby’s occurrence among Fucus (also dervied from phykon), a brown algae; Rondelet applied the name to P. blennoides in 1555, which Linnaeus associated with the blennies (hence the name Blennius phycis)

Urophycis Gill 1863    uro-, tail, i.e., a Phycis with an emarginate (instead of convex) caudal fin

Urophycis brasiliensis (Kaup 1858)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Brazil (although type locality is off Montevideo, Uruguay)

Urophycis chuss (Walbaum 1792)    local name for this species in 18th-century New York (USA), from where it was described; according to Jordan & Evermann (1898), “apparently derived from cusk” (a 17th-century word of unknown origin usually applied to Brosme brosme, Lotinae)

Urophycis cirrata (Goode & Bean 1896)    curly or fringed, presumably referring to long, filamentous pectoral fins, which extend beyond anal-fin origin

Urophycis earllii (Bean 1880)    in honor of ichthyologist and museum curator R. Edward Earll (1853-1896), U.S. Fish Commission and U.S. National Museum, who secured type specimens from a market in Charleston, South Carolina (USA)

Urophycis floridana (Bean & Dresel 1884)    ana, belonging to: Pensacola, northwestern Florida (USA), type locality

Urophycis mystacea Miranda Ribeiro 1903    mustached, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to its blackened snout (“Focinho denegrido”)

Urophycis regia (Walbaum 1792)    royal, apparently alluding “Kingfish,” its local name in 18th-century New York (USA), from where it was described

Urophycis tenuis (Mitchill 1814)    slender, presumably referring to its body shape (Mitchill called it the “Slender Cod”)

Subfamily GAIDROPSARINAE Rocklings

Ciliata Couch 1832    ciliate, referring to a “ciliated membrane placed in a chink behind the head” (i.e., a row of small, fleshy filaments behind first dorsal-fin ray) of C. glauca (=mustela)

Ciliata mustela (Linnaeus 1758)    weasel, a name for a gadid fish that dates back to Pliny, allusion not evident

Ciliata septentrionalis (Collett 1875)    northern, referring to its distribution, described from Norway and occurring in the North Sea, eastern North Atlantic and Western Baltic Sea

Ciliata tchangi Li 1994    in honor of Li’s teacher, ichthyologist Tchunlin (or Tchung-Lin) Tchang (1897-1963), “memorializing his stunning achievements in studies of Chinese fishes”

Enchelyopus Bloch & Schneider 1801    enchelys, ancient Greek for eel; latinization of opos, face, i.e., resembling an eel (“facie anguillae”), perhaps referring to its slippery body (“Corpus lubricum”)

Enchelyopus cimbrius (Linnaeus 1766)    referring to its occurrence in the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula, also known as Jutland, bounded by the North Sea to the west, the Skagerrak to the north, the Kattegat (type locality) and Baltic Sea to the east and Germany to the south

Gaidropsarus Rafinesque 1810    etymology not explained; according to Jordan & Evermann (1898), a modern Greek name used by Rondelet (1554) for a related species, meaning “donkey fish” (note: according to Francis Day [The Fishes of Great Britain and Ireland, 1882], many cods were called Asinus by the ancients, perhaps referring to their color or to “due to their having been carried to market on the backs of asses”

Gaidropsarus argentatus (Reinhardt 1837   ; name proposed without a description, probably referring to juvenile coloration (adults are brown or brick red, with a pink belly and a blue hue around the head)

Gaidropsarus biscayensis (Collett 1890)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Bay of Biscay (also known as Golfe de Gascogne), near Cape Finisterre, Spain, type locality

Gaidropsarus capensis (Kaup 1858)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Kaup did not provide type locality or distribution data, presumably Cape of Good Hope based on its occurrence in the southeastern Atlantic and southwestern Indian oceans

Gaidropsarus ensis (Reinhardt 1837)    sword; name proposed without a description, probably referring to long first ray of dorsal fin, as long as head

Gaidropsarus granti (Regan 1903)    in honor of Scottish ornithologist William Robert Ogilvie-Grant (1863-1924), who acquired a collection of fishes from the Azores, including type of this one

Gaidropsarus guttatus (Collett 1890)    spotted, referring to numerous white spots on blackish body

Gaidropsarus insularum Sivertsen 1945    of an island, referring to its occurrence in small tidewater pools on Tristan da Cunha, a remote island in the southeast Atlantic (also occurs in western Indian Ocean)

Gaidropsarus macrophthalmus (Günther 1867)    macro-, large; ophthalmus, eye, referring to its larger eye compared to congeners of the same size

Gaidropsarus mediterraneus (Linnaeus 1758)    referring to its occurrence in the Mediterranean Sea (also occurs in Black Sea and eastern Atlantic from Norway and British Isles to Morocco)

Gaidropsarus novaezealandiae (Hector 1874)    of New Zealand, referring to type locality at Cape Campbell, Cook Strait

Gaidropsarus pakhorukovi Shcherbachev 1995    in honor of ichthyologist N. P. Pakhorukov, who collected type

Gaidropsarus parini Svetovidov 1986    in honor of ichthyologist Nikolai Vasil’evich Parin (1932-2012), Russian Academy of Sciences, who provided specimens for Svetovidov’s revision of the genus

Gaidropsarus vulgaris (Cloquet 1824)    common, a name that dates to Rondelet (1554), “De Mustella vulgari”

Subfamily LOTINAE Burbot, Cusk and Lings

Brosme Oken 1817    tautonymous with Gadus brosme

Brosme brosme (Ascanius 1772)vernacular name for this species among Danish fishermen of the 18th century

Lota Oken 1817    tautonymous with Gadus lota

Lota lota lota (Linnaeus 1758)    ancient name for a kind of fish, applied to this species by Rondelet (1554)

Lota lota lacustris (Walbaum 1792)    lacustrine (belonging to a lake), based on Thomas Pennant’s statement (1784) that it occurs in the “northerly lakes” of the Hudson Bay region, Canada (taken nearly verbatim from a 1773 paper by John Reinhold Forster)

Lota lota leptura (Hubbs & Schultz 1941)    leptos, thin; oura, tail, referring to the “slender, long, and acute posterior end of the isocercal caudal region”

Lota lota maculosa (Lesueur 1817)    spotted, referring to roundish white spots scattered across a reddish body

Molva Lesueur 1819    presumably tautonymous with Linnaeus 1758 (Lesueur did not explicitly link the genus with the species)

Molva dypterygia (Pennant 1784)    dyas, two; pterygius, fin, referring to its two dorsal fins, the first one short and the second one long (~2/3 of body length)

Molva macrophthalma (Rafinesque 1810)    macro-, large; ophthalmus, eye, described as having “big eyes protruding outwards [i.e., globular]” (translation)

Molva molva (Linnaeus 1758)    ancient name for this or a similar species

Subfamily GADINAE Cods and Haddocks

Arctogadus Dryagin 1932    arcto-, north, referring to type locality in northeastern Siberia and/or distribution in Arctic and North Atlantic and North Pacific waters; gadus, a cod or gadiform fish

Arctogadus borisovi Dryagin 1932    in honor of Russian ichthyologist Pavel Gavrilovich Borisov (1889-?)

Arctogadus glacialis (Peters 1872)    icy or frozen, presumably referring to its type locality, Sabine Island, Greenland, and/or its distribution in the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans

Boreogadus Günther 1862    borealis, northern, proposed as a northern subgenus of Gadus, referring to distribution of Gadus fabricii (=B. saida) in Arctic seas and the North Pacific and North Atlantic

Boreogadus saida (Lepechin 1774)    Russian name for this species

Eleginus Fischer 1813    Eleginus, a shoaling fish mentioned by Aristotle, probably referring to how E. nawaga forms large breeding shoals under the ice, during which it is caught in industrial fishing nets

Eleginus gracilis (Tilesius 1810)    slender, allusion not explained, presumably referring to thinner body compared to E. nawaga

Eleginus nawaga (Walbaum 1792)    Russian name for this species (sometimes spelled navaga)

Gadiculus Guichenot 1850    diminutive of Gadus, referring to its affinity with other gadoid fishes, particularly Gadus barbatus (=Trisopterus luscus) and G. (now Merluccius) merluccius

Gadiculus argenteus argenteus Guichenot 1850    silver, referring to its uniformly silver body

Gadiculus argenteus thori Schmidt 1913    “in memory” of Thor, the first Danish research ship specially equipped for scientific work on the oceans, on the cruises of which Schmidt was able study the postlarval development of both forms of this species

Gadus Linnaeus 1758    latinization of gados, ancient Greek for cod

Gadus chalcogrammus Pallas 1814    chalkos, copper; grammus, line, referring to two interrupted golden-brown longitudinal bands on sides

Gadus macrocephalus Tilesius 1810    macro-, large; cephalus, head, referring to its very large head (>1/3 TL) with a wide gaping mouth (“rictu oris amplissimo”)

Gadus morhua morhua Linnaeus 1758    morrhua, New Latin for cod

Gadus morhua callarias Linnaeus 1758    from the ancient Greek kallarias, used for a kind of cod

Gadus morhua kildinensis Derjugin 1920    ensis, suffix denoting place: Kildin Island, Barents Sea, Russia, type locality

Gadus morhua marisalbi Derjugin 1920    maris, sea; albus, white, referring to the White Sea of Russia, where it is endemic

Melanogrammus Gill 1862    melano-, black; grammus, line, referring to its black lateral line

Melanogrammus aeglefinus (Linnaeus 1758)    apparently a latinization of “Egrefin” and “Eglefin,” its vernacular names in France and England, respectively, according to Pierre Belon, De aquatilibus (1553)

Merlangius Garsault 1764    a variation of Merlangus, perhaps a misprint [name dates to 1764 plate, not to text published in 1765]

Merlangius merlangus merlangus (Linnaeus 1758)    etymology unknown, probably related to its French vernacular name, merlan

Merlangius merlangus euxinus (Nordmann 1840)    from Pontus Euxinus, archaic name of Black Sea, where type locality (Balaclava, Crimea, Ukraine) is situated (also occurs in Sea of Azov, Sea of Marmara and Aegean Sea)

Microgadus Gill 1865    micro-, small, referring to small size of M. proximus (<15.25 cm), i.e., a small Gadus

Microgadus proximus (Girard 1854)    near, allusion not explained; Jordan & Evermann (1898) state that name refers to its affinity with M. tomcod

Microgadus tomcod (Walbaum 1792)    Tom Cod, its local name in 18th-century New York (USA), from where it was described

Micromesistius Gill 1863    micro-, small; mes-, middle; istios, sail, referring to its three dorsal fins, the middle one described by Gill as “short” (although to our eyes it is no smaller than the first, or anterior, dorsal fin)

Micromesistius australis australis Norman 1937    southern, referring to its distribution in the Southern Hemisphere (contrasted with M. poutassou from the Northern Hemisphere)

Micromesistius australis pallidus Inada & Nakamura 1975    pale, referring to body color when kept in formalin

Micromesistius poutassou (Risso 1827)    presumably from gros poutassou, French name for this species

Pollachius Nilsson 1832    tautonymous with Gadus pollachius

Pollachius pollachius (Linnaeus 1758)    apparently a latinization of its Anglo-Saxon common name, pollack, dating back to Willughby (1686)

Pollachius virens (Linnaeus 1758)    green, referring to its greenish back (“dorso virescente”)

Trisopterus Rafinesque 1814    trissos, threefold; pterus, fin, referring to three dorsal fins and anal fins opposite each other (species have only two anal fins; Rafinesque may have been fooled by a drawing in Willughby [1686] that appears to show three anal fins)

Trisopterus capelanus (Lacepède 1800)    apparently a latinization of capelan, French vernacular for this species dating back to Rondelet (1554)

Trisopterus esmarkii (Nilsson 1855)    in honor of Laurent Esmark, Conservator of the Zoological Museum of the University of Christiana, who was the first to notice that this cod represented a separate species, an “equally excellent astute researcher, amiable and honorable man, and sincere friend” (translation) who made valuable contributions to Scandinavian ichthyology

Trisopterus luscus (Linnaeus 1758)    a name coined by Willughby (1686), meaning one-eyed or half-blind, probably alluding to “blind,” a vernacular name in Cornwall, England, which, according to Francis Day (The Fishes of Great Britain and Ireland, 1880), refers to a double layer of skin that partially or entirely crosses the front surface of its eye, with a “sort of hollow bag” between the layers that becomes “bal[l]oon-shaped” when a specimen is pulled from great depths; this “bag” takes on an “opaque or white sodden character” seen in both living and dead specimens

Trisopterus minutus (Linnaeus 1758)    small, a name that traces to Willughby (1686), who called it Asellus mollis minor or Asellus omnium minimus and described it as the “smallest known of its kind” (translation); reaches up to 40 cm TL compared to most presumed congeners at the time (typically 70-200 cm TL)