Order PERCOPSIFORMES (Trout-Perches)

v. 1.0 – 12 Sept. 2016  view/download PDF

3 families • 8 genera • 13 species/subspecies                 

Family PERCOPSIDAE Trout-Perches

Percopsis Agassiz 1849    perca, perch; opsis, appearance, i.e., perch-like, with the adipose fin of a salmon but with the jaws and ctenoid scales of a perch; Agassiz later (1850) stated that he believed the genus was intermediate between Salmonidae and percoids

Percopsis omiscomaycus (Walbaum 1792)    latinization of Omisco Maycus, reportedly from the Algonquin Indian name for this species, with “Maycus” possibly being the root word for “trout” (note similarity to the reportedly Cree Indian name for the Lake Trout, Salvelinus namaycush)

Percopsis transmontana (Eigenmann & Eigenmann 1892)    trans-, over; montanus, mountains, referring to its distribution west of the Rocky Mountains (Idaho, Washington and Oregon, USA)

Family APHREDODERIDAE Pirate Perches

Aphredoderus Lesueur 1833    aphodos, excrement; dere, neck or throat, referring to anterior placement of anus, just under head in front of pelvic fins [note: vernacular name “Pirate Perch” was coined by naturalist Charles C. Abbott (ca. 1870) after observing that captive specimens ate only other fishes]

Aphredoderus sayanus sayanus (Gilliams 1824)    anus, belonging to: eponym not identified but almost certainly in honor of Gilliams’ good friend and colleague, naturalist Thomas Say (1787-1834)

Aphredoderus sayanus gibbosus Lesueur 1833    humpbacked, probably referring to its dorsal profile

Family AMBLYOPSIDAE Cavefishes
6 genera • 9 species

Amblyopsis DeKay 1842    amblys, obtuse; opsis, vision, presumably referring to their rudimentary, non-functional eyes, concealed under the skin

Amblyopsis hoosieri Niemiller, Prejean & Chakrabarty 2014    in honor of Indiana, USA, the Hoosier State, referring to a) where it is endemic; b) Indiana University, where Carl H. Eigenmann was a Professor of Zoology and studied blind cave vertebrates, including populations of this species in Lawrence County just to the south of Bloomington, and home to David Starr Jordan, the “Father of American Ichthyology,” for most of his career; and c) the fact that Niemiller is a “fervent fan of Indiana Hoosier basketball” (while Chakrabarty, the authors note, who attended the University of Michigan, is not)

Amblyopsis spelaea DeKay 1842    cave or cavern, referring to its limestone cave habitat

Chologaster Agassiz 1853    cholos, maimed; gaster, belly, referring to its lack of ventral fins

Chologaster cornuta Agassiz 1853    horned, referring to its tubular, horn-like nostrils

Forbesichthys Jordan 1929    in honor of life-long friend and co-worker Stephen Alfred Forbes (1844-1930), University of Illinois, who discovered and described F. papilliferus; ichthys, fish [replacement name for Forbesella Jordan & Evermann 1927, preoccupied in tunicates]

Forbesichthys agassizii (Putnam 1872)    in honor of zoologist-geologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, “not only in kindly remembrance of the eight years I was associated with him as student and assistant, but also because the fish so well illustrates the decided position he has taken relative to the immutability of species” (in an era in which Darwinian evolution was a novel and hotly debated idea, Agassiz, a staunch anti-Darwinian, believed that each species was fixed and unchangeable because it represented an idea in the mind of God; in his description, Putnam hypothesized that blind cavefishes did not evolve from sighted forms but had always been blind)

Forbesichthys papilliferus (Forbes 1882)    papillo, papilla; fero, to bear, referring to “peculiar tubercles” or sensory papillae occurring in short rows all over head

Speoplatyrhinus Cooper & Kuehne 1974    speos, cave, referring to subterranean habitat; platys, flat and rhinus, nose, referring to its greatly flattened snout

Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni Cooper & Kuehne 1974    in honor of speleologist Thomas L. Poulson, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, for his “outstanding work with the amblyopsid fishes and for his continuing interest in these animals, their ecology and their evolution”

Troglichthys Eigenmann 1899    trogle, hole, referring to cave habitat; ichthys, fish

Troglichthys rosae (Eigenmann 1898)    in honor of Eigenmann’s wife Rosa Smith Eigenmann (1858-1947), herself an ichthyologist, for the rediscovery of a blind goby in California (Typhlogobius californiensis), and a “pioneer in the study of Biology among women”

Typhlichthys Girard 1859    typhlos, blind, a “perfectly eyeless” fish; ichthys, fish

Typhlichthys eigenmanni Charlton 1933    in honor of the late Carl H. Eigenmann (1863-1927), prominent ichthyologist and researcher on the loss of visual structures in cave vertebrates (based on a manuscript name by Carl L. Hubbs, inadvertently made available by Charlton in a publication on the central nervous system of blind cavefishes; neuroanatomical characters described by Charlton are sufficient to differentiate this species from Amblyopsis rosae)

Typhlichthys subterraneus Girard 1859    underground, referring to its cave habitat