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6 families • 11 genera • 24 species

Family VELIFERIDAE Velifers

Metavelifer Walters 1960    meta-, after, i.e., after Velifer, assuming this genus is more specialized than Velifer

Metavelifer multiradiatus (Regan 1907)    multi-, many; radiatus, rayed, referring to more dorsal- and anal-fin rays compared to Velifer hypselopterus, its presumed congener at the time

Velifer Temminck & Schlegel 1850    velum, sail; fero-, to bear, referring to long dorsal fin, extending nearly entire length of back [proposed without species, which explains why genus predates species]

Velifer hypselopterus Bleeker 1879    hypselos, high; pterus, fin, referring to anteriorly elevated dorsal fin

Family LAMPRIDAE Opahs

Lampris Retzius 1799    radiant, brilliant or shining, referring to  brilliant coloration of L. guttatus         

Lampris guttatus (Brünnich 1788)    spotted, referring to the many white spots that cover its flanks

Lampris immaculatus Gilchrist 1904    im-, not; maculata, spotted, no white spots on any part of body unlike L. guttatus

Family LOPHOTIDAE Crestfishes
2 genera • 5 species

Eumecichthys Regan 1907    eumeco-, of good length, referring to long (described at 127 cm) and elongate body; ichthys, fish

Eumecichthys fiski (Günther 1890)    in honor of Rev. George Henry Redmore Fisk (1829-1911), a collector of zoological curiosities in South Africa, who “kindly submitted” this “highly interesting fish” and specimens of other animals

Lophotus Giorna 1809    crested, referring to crest (anterior rays of dorsal fin) originating above or before tip of snout

Lophotus capellei Temminck & Schlegel 1845    in honor of Godert Alexander Gerard Philip, Baron van der Capellen (1778-1848), Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (1815-1825) and a “dear friend of science” (translation)

Lophotus guntheri Johnston 1883    in honor of ichthyologist-herpetologist Albert Günther (1830-1914), British Museum (Natural History), whose Catalogue of Fishes of the British Museum is cited as a reference for the genus [since Johnston did not place an umlaut over the “u” the spelling should not be emended to “guentheri”]

Lophotus lacepede Giorna 1809    in honor of 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 Histoire Naturelle des Poissons, first five volumes (1798-1803) [a noun in apposition, without the patronymic “i”]

Lophotus machadoi Miranda Ribeiro 1927    in honor of Francisco Alves Machado da Silva, a “good friend” (translation) of the Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)


Radiicephalus Osório 1917    radii, rays; cephalus, head, referring to long anterior rays of dorsal fin on upper part of head

Radiicephalus elongatus Osório 1917    elongate, referring to its long, compressed body

Family TRACHIPTERIDAE Ribbonfishes
3 genera • 11 species

Desmodema Walters & Fitch 1960    desmos, band; demas, body (the “s” deleted for euphony), referring to slim, ribbon-like body

Desmodema lorum Rosenblatt & Butler 1977    Latin for whip, referring to its elongate tail

Desmodema polystictum (Ogilby 1898)    poly, many; stictum, spotted, referring to numerous spots on head and body

Trachipterus Goüan 1770    trachy, rough; pterus, fin, referring to rough (i.e., granular) dorsal- and ventral-fin rays

Trachipterus altivelis Kner 1859    altus, high; velum, sail, probably referring to its large and long dorsal fin, extending nearly entire length of back

Trachipterus arawatae Clarke 1881    of Arawata, Jackson’s Bay, New Zealand, where the type specimen had been trapped during low tide in a pool used as a store-pond for keeping mussel-bait alive for fishing

Trachipterus arcticus (Brünnich 1771)    latinization of arktikos, Greek for northern, presumably referring to occurrence in the North Atlantic Ocean based on Iceland type locality (also occurs in North Sea and Mediterranean Sea)

Trachipterus fukuzakii Fitch 1964    in honor of Ben Fukuzaki, a San Pedro (California, USA) boat owner and fisherman “whose keen interest in the creatures of the sea has led him to save and donate to science most of the animals he captures that are either unknown to him or which he recognizes as rare or unusual,” including more than 15 young and adult ribbonfish of three species and the first two known specimens of this species

Trachipterus ishikawae Jordan & Snyder 1901    in honor of biologist Chiyomatsu Ishikawa (1861-1935), Curator of the Imperial Museum, Tokyo Imperial University

Trachipterus jacksonensis (Ramsay 1881)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia, type locality (but occurs throughout Southern Hemisphere)

Trachipterus trachypterus (Gmelin 1789)    trachy, rough; pterus, fin, referring to sharp, serrated and rough (i.e., granular) fins (“pinnis aculeatis serratis scabris”)

Zu Walters & Fitch 1960    Zu, the storm god of Babylonian mythology, “a fitting name … since, until recent years, these fishes were known mainly from individuals found cast ashore in the wakes of storms”

Zu cristatus (Bonelli 1820)    crested, referring to long anterior rays of dorsal fin on upper part of head (sometimes called a nuchal crest or pennant)

Zu elongatus Heemstra & Kannemeyer 1984    referring to its more elongate body compared to Z. cristatus

 Family REGALECIDAE Oarfishes

Agrostichthys Phillipps 1924    etymology not explained, perhaps agrostis, a forage grass, referring to its body shape, “one of the most strikingly attenuate fishes yet known from the ocean depths”; ichthys, fish

Agrostichthys parkeri (Benham 1904)    in memory of Benham’s predecessor, zoologist Thomas Jeffery Parker (1850-1897), University of Otago (New Zealand), who made a “careful study” of the anatomy of Regalecus glesne in 1886

Regalecus Ascanius 1772    rex, king; halecum, herring, literally “King of the Herrings”; according to folklore, North Sea fishermen associated the appearance of Regalecus with the arrival of great schools of herrings, and they sometimes regarded Regalecus itself as a giant herring

Regalecus glesne Ascanius 1772    latinization of Glesnaes, a farm at Glesvær, Norway, type locality

Regalecus russelii (Cuvier 1816)    in honor of surgeon-herpetologist Patrick Russell (1726-1805), whose 1803 account of an oarfish from India served as the basis for Shaw’s non-Linnaean name (“Russelian Gymnetrus”) in 1803, later given as a binomial by Cuvier (who, unfortunately, continued Shaw’s mistake of misspelling Russell’s name by omitting an “l”)