Order TRACHICHTHYIFORMES (Roughies)

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v. 1.0 – 1 April 2017  view/download PDF

5 families · 23 genera/subgenera · 69 species/subspecies

Family ANOPLOGASTRIDAE Fangtooths

Anoplogaster Günther 1859    anoplos, unarmed; gaster, belly, allusion not explained; described from juveniles (adults were considered a distinct species until 1955), probably referring to black patch on belly formed by dark-colored cup-like scales (scales form on belly as the juvenile matures)

Anoplogaster brachycera Kotlyar 1986    brachys, short; ceratos, horn, referring to short temporal and preopercular spines of young specimens

Anoplogaster cornuta (Valenciennes 1833)    horned, referring to several long spines on head of juveniles (absent in adults, which were considered a distinct species until 1955)


Family DIRETMIDAE Spinyfins                   
3 genera · 4 species

Diretmichthys Kotlyar 1990    Diretmus, type genus of family; ichthys, fish, “close in sound to the names of other genera, which stresses the unity of the family Diretmidae” (translation)

Diretmichthys parini (Post & Quéro 1981)    in honor of ichthyologist Nikolai Vasil’evich Parin (1932-2012), Russian Academy of Sciences, whose work revealed the existence of unnamed diretmid species

Diretmoides Post & Quero 1981    oides, having the form of: Diretmus, its closest relative, a name the authors selected “in order to emphasize the homogeneity of the Diretmidae family” (translation)

Diretmoides pauciradiatus (Woods 1973)    pauci-, few; radiatus, rayed, presumably referring to fewer dorsal-, anal- and pectoral-fin rays compared to Diretmus argenteus, its presumed congener at the time

Diretmoides veriginae Kotlyar 1987    in honor of Inna Alexandrovna Verigina, curator of marine fishes, Zoological Museum, Moscow University, for helping Kotlyar over the course of many years

Diretmus Johnson 1864    di-, two; eretmon, oar or paddle, presumably referring to bony appendages at root of ventral fins, “resembling in shape the wings of some insects”

Diretmus argenteus Johnson 1864    silvery, referring to its “silvery-grey colour, with darker grey near the dorsal and anal fins”


Family ANOMALOPIDAE Flashlight or Lanterneye Fishes
6 genera · 9 species

Anomalops Kner 1868    anamalo-, anomalous or odd; ops, eye, referring to two gland-like organs beneath its eyes, “to which no analogy among fishes is known” (translation) [Kner was not aware that these glands were luminous]

Anomalops katoptron (Bleeker 1856)    Greek for mirror, referring to inside of light organ enclosed by a guanine crystal reflector (although Bleeker was unaware of the specific structure and function of this reflector)

Kryptophanaron Silvester & Fowler 1926    kryptos, hidden; phaneron, shining (authors say “lantern”), referring to phosphorescent organ under eye, which can be covered by a “membranous curtain”

Kryptophanaron alfredi Silvester & Fowler 1926    in honor of American businessman Alfred Mitchell (1832-1911), who lived in Jamaica and provided collecting opportunities for Princeton biologist Ulrich Dahlgren (1870-1946), who found type specimen floating on the surface

Parmops Rosenblatt & Johnson 1991    parme, a small shield; ops, eye, referring to first four infraorbital bones expanded laterally to form a shelf beneath the eye

Parmops coruscans Rosenblatt & Johnson 1991    sparkling, referring to ovoid luminous organ below eye

Parmops echinatus Johnson, Seeto & Rosenblatt 2001    spiny, referring to strongly ctenoid scales and well-developed spination on head and fin rays

Photoblepharon Weber 1902    photo-, light; blepharon, eyelid; Weber was among the first scientists to understand that their eyes are luminous and that the fish uses its eyelids to blink these lights on and off at will

Photoblepharon palpebratum (Boddaert 1781)     palpebra, eyelid, referring to skin folds that slide up to cover the eyes in the manner of an eyelid (blinking the luminous organs on and off, but this was unknown to Boddaert)

Photoblepharon steinitzi Abe & Haneda 1973    in honor of the late Heinz Steinitz (1909-1971), marine biologist and herpetologist (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), who sent specimens to the senior author and suggested he describe it

Phthanophaneron Johnson & Rosenblatt 1988    phthanos, early; phaneron, shining, referring to apparent primitiveness of the manner in which it occludes its continuously shining luminous organ

Phthanophaneron harveyi (Rosenblatt & Montgomery 1976)    in honor of American zoologist Edmund Newton Harvey (1887-1959), a leading authority on bioluminescence, for his “pioneering” investigations of the biology of the Anomalopidae

Protoblepharon Baldwin, Johnson & Paxton 1997    protos, first; blepharon, eyelid, referring to cladistic position of genus as first in the lineage of flashlight fishes that occlude the light organ with an erectable shutter

Protoblepharon mccoskeri Ho & Johnson 2012    in honor of John E. McCosker (b. 1945), California Academy of Sciences, for his interest in and contribution to our knowledge of flashlight fishes

Protoblepharon rosenblatti Baldwin, Johnson & Paxton 1997    in honor of Richard H. Rosenblatt (1930-2014), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a mentor to the second author and friend and valuable colleague to all three, for his contributions to the systematics and functional morphology of flashlight fishes, which have shed much light on the evolution and biology of the Anomalopidae


Family MONOCENTRIDAE Pinecone Fishes

Cleidopus De Vis 1882    cleidos, key or latch; pous, foot, referring to how its ventral-fin spine can lock into place

Cleidopus gloriamaris De Vis 1882    gloria, glory; maris, sea, i.e., Glory of the Sea, allusion not explained, perhaps echoing Houttuyn (1782), who described the similar Monocentris japonica and called it “the most remarkable fish which exists” (translation)

Monocentris Bloch & Schneider 1801    mono-, one; kentron, thorn or spine, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to ventral fin, which consists of a single very strong rough spine

Monocentris japonica (Houttuyn 1782)    ica, belonging to Japan, from where it was described (no types known)

Monocentris reedi Schultz 1956    in honor of Edwyn P. Reed, Chief of the biological department, Dirección General de Pesca y Gaza (Valparaiso, Chile), who secured type and sent it to Schultz for identification


Family TRACHICHTHYIDAE Roughies
11 genera/subgenera · 51 species/subspecies

Aulotrachichthys Fowler 1938    aulos, tube or flute, referring to “subcutaneous silvery-gray striated tubes and areas along lower surface of body” of A. latus; Trachichthys, type genus of family

Aulotrachichthys argyrophanus (Woods 1961)    argyros, silver; phanaios, giving light, referring to silvery white reflections on cheeks, striated areas at base of pectoral fins, and along lower sides

Aulotrachichthys atlanticus (Menezes 1971)    icus, belonging to: referring to its known distribution in the Atlantic Ocean off southern Brazil

Aulotrachichthys heptalepis (Gon 1984)    hepta, seven; lepis, scale, referring to 7-8 large ventral scutes between anus and anal-fin origin

Aulotrachichthys latus (Fowler 1938)    broad, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to its “low, broadly convex” interorbital

Aulotrachichthys novaezelandicus (Kotlyar 1980)    icus, belonging to: New Zealand, described from New Zealand waters in the South Pacific

Aulotrachichthys prosthemius (Jordan & Fowler 1902)    forward, referring to anterior insertion of the vent, in front of the abdominal serrae and between the ventral fins

Aulotrachichthys pulsator Gomon & Kuiter 1987    striker or beater, referring to its ability to make click-like sounds when disturbed

Gephyroberyx Boulenger 1902    gephyra, a bridge; beryx, a berycoid fish, presumably reflecting Boulenger’s belief that it is a transitional or intermediate genus between Trachichthys and squirrelfishes (Holocentrus or Myripristis, both now placed in Holocentriformes), all of which were classified in one family (Berycidae) at the time

Gephyroberyx darwinii (Johnson 1866)    in honor of Charles Darwin (1809-1889), an “accomplished man of science … to whom naturalists are greatly indebted, amongst many other labours, for an excellent monograph on the Cirripedia [barnacles]”

Gephyroberyx japonicus (Döderlein 1883)    icus, belonging to Japan: described from Tokyo (but occurring elsewhere in the western and central North Pacific)

Hoplostethus Cuvier 1829    hoplon, armor; stethos, breast or chest, referring to bony plates on abdomen, each ending in a retrorse spine

Subgenus Hoplostethus

Hoplostethus abramovi Kotlyar 1986    in honor of friend and fellow ichthyologist Alexey Aleksandrovich Abramov, for “many years of working together” (translation)

Hoplostethus confinis Kotlyar 1980    bordering or adjoining, referring to its similarity to (or affinity with) H. mediterraneus

Hoplostethus crassispinus Kotlyar 1980    crassus, thick; spinus, spine, referring to its thick dorsal-, anal- and pelvic-fin spines

Hoplostethus druzhinini Kotlyar 1986    in honor of fisheries scientist Anatoly Dmitrievich Druzhinin, All-Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO), for his work on fishes of the Indian Ocean (where this species occurs)

Hoplostethus fedorovi Kotlyar 1986    in honor of Vladimir Vladimirovich Fedorov (1939-2011), Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg, a “great expert” (translation) on Pacific fishes

Hoplostethus gigas McCulloch 1914    large, the largest species of the genus, reportedly reaching 525 mm SL

Hoplostethus grandperrini Roberts & Gomon 2012    in honor of René Grandperrin, retired chief scientist of ORSTOM (Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique d’Outre-Mer), “ardent” fish researcher and leader of deepwater fish explorations off New Caledonia, for his “strong” support for collaborative fieldwork between French and New Zealand scientists

Hoplostethus japonicus Hilgendorf 1879    icus, belonging to Japan: known only from the western North Pacific of Japan

Hoplostethus latus McCulloch 1914    wide, proposed as a deeper-bodied form of H. mediterraneus

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

Hoplostethus mediterraneus mediterraneus Cuvier 1829    referring to type locality in northwestern Mediterranean Sea (Nice, France)

Hoplostethus mediterraneus intermedius Hector 1875    described as intermediate in characters between Trachichthys australis and Optivus elongatus, its presumed congeners at the time

Hoplostethus mediterraneus sonodae Kotlyar 1986    in honor of Pearl Sonoda, California Academy of Sciences, who, along with Loren P. Woods, provided the data on which this taxon is based in 1973 [name proposed by Quéro in 1979 but without a description]

Hoplostethus mediterraneus trunovi Kotlyar 1986    in honor of ichthyologist Ivan Andreevich Trunov (1936-2005), Atlantic Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, for his many works on the fishes of the southeast Atlantic

Hoplostethus melanopeza Roberts & Gomon 2012    melano-, black; peza, edge, referring to characteristic black edge on all fins of large individuals

Hoplostethus mikhailini Kotlyar 1986    in honor of Soviet ichthyologist Sergey Vladimirovich Mikhailin, for his great contribution to the study of fishes off southern Africa

Hoplostethus occidentalis Woods 1973    western, presumably referring to its more westerly distribution (e.g., Gulf of Mexico) compared to congeners that occur in the Western North Atlantic

Hoplostethus pacificus Garman 1899    icus, belonging to: the Pacific Ocean (specifically, the eastern Pacific, off the Galápagos Islands)

Hoplostethus ravurictus Gomon 2008    ravus, grayish yellow; rictus, open mouth, referring to its pale buccal cavity, which contrasts with black lining of mouth found in most other species of the subgenus Hoplostethus

Hoplostethus rifti Kotlyar 1986    named for the Russian fishery research vessel Rift, from which type was collected

Hoplostethus robustispinus Moore & Dodd 2010    robustus, strong; spinus, spine, referring to its “extremely thickened” fin spines

Hoplostethus vniro Kotlyar 1995    named for the All-Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO), where Kotlyar worked for 20 years, which included expedition that collected type

Subgenus Aulohoplostethus Fowler 1938    a subgenus of Hoplostethus with aulos, tube or flute, referring to “silvery lateral tubelike striate areas” on chest, breast, prepectoral region, and along abdominal edge

Hoplostethus metallicus Fowler 1938    like metal, referring to its shining metallic dusky sheen, described as “peculiar” and “likely luminous”

Subgenus Leiogaster Weber 1913    leios, smooth; gaster, belly, referring to rounded abdomen, compared to serrated abdomen of Trachichthys and most other species in Hoplostethus

Hoplostethus cadenati Quéro 1974    in honor of French ichthyologist Jean Cadenat (1908-1992), Director, Marine Biological Section of the Institute Français d’Afrique Noire (Gorée, Senegal), who was the first to recognize this species as distinct

Hoplostethus melanopterus Fowler 1938    melano-, black; pterus, fin, referring to its “dark to blackish” paired fins

Hoplostethus melanopus (Weber 1913)    melano-, black; pous, foot, referring to its black ventral fins

Hoplostethus rubellopterus Kotlyar 1980    rubellus, reddish; pterus, fin, referring to reddish coloration of pectoral fins

Hoplostethus shubnikovi Kotlyar 1980    in honor of Dar Alexeevich Shubnikov, All-Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO), for his help in Kotlyar’s study of trachichthyids

Hoplostethus tenebricus Kotlyar 1980    dark or gloomy, referring to its general coloration

Hoplostethus mento (Garman 1899)    mentum, chin, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to “Snout longer than the eye, blunt, curving steeply to the crown, chin vertical in the anterior halves of the mandibles”

Subgenus Macrohoplostethus Kotlyar 1986    macro-, large, referring to size of H. atlanticus and greater value of certain meristic features (vertebrae, pyloric caeca)

Hoplostethus atlanticus Collett 1889    icus, belonging to: northeastern Atlantic Ocean, type locality (occurs throughout Atlantic and in Indo-West Pacific)

Hoplostethus fragilis (de Buen 1959)    fragile or brittle, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to fragile bones (“formaciones oseas débiles”) of the skull

Optivus Whitley 1947    Latin for “chosen,” allusion not explained nor evident

Optivus agastos Gomon 2004    Greek for “near kinsman,” referring to its similarity to and presumed close relationship with O. elongatus

Optivus agrammus Gomon 2004    a-, without; gramme, line, referring to absence of stripes on caudal fin

Optivus elongatus (Günther 1859)    referring to its more elongate body compared to Trachichthys australis, its presumed congener at the time

Paratrachichthys Waite 1899    para, near, i.e., similar to Trachichthys but with the vent in front of, instead of behind, the abdominal scutes

Paratrachichthys fernandezianus (Günther 1887)    ianus, belonging to: Juan Fernández Islands of Chile, South Pacific Ocean, type locality (also occurs near San Felix Island and Easter Island)

Paratrachichthys macleayi (Johnston 1881)    in honor of William John Macleay (1820-1891), Australian politician and zoologist, “to whom Australian naturalists are indebted for much of their knowledge of the Australian fishes”

Paratrachichthys sajademalensis Kotlyar 1979    ensis, suffix denoting place: Saya de Malha Bank, Indian Ocean, type locality

Paratrachichthys trailli (Hutton 1875)    in honor of Charles Traill (1826-1891), Postmaster of Stewart Island, New Zealand (type locality), and amateur botanist-conchologist, who found the type specimen “dead and floating on the surface of the water” and presented it to the Otago Museum

Parinoberyx Kotlyar 1984    Parin, named for ichthyologist Nikolai Vasil’evich Parin (1932-2012), Russian Academy of Sciences, who greatly assisted Kotlyar in his study of beryciform fishes; beryx, a beryciform fish, referring to the order in which this genus had originally been placed

Parinoberyx horridus Kotlyar 1984    rough or bristly, referring to spinules on scales

Sorosichthys Whitley 1945    sorosis, botanical term for any multiple fleshy fruit derived from the ovaries of multiple flowers (e.g., a pineapple), referring to its rough scales; ichthys, fish, reflecting Whitley’s suggested vernacular name “Litte Pineapple Fish”

Sorosichthys ananassa Whitley 1945    diminutive of Ananas, botanical genus of the pineapple, i.e., little pineapple, a Latin transliteration of Whitley’s suggested vernacular name “Litte Pineapple Fish”

Trachichthys Shaw 1799    trachys, rough, referring to its rough-edged scales, hence the vernacular “roughy”; ichthys, fish

Trachichthys australis Shaw 1799    southern, a fish of Australian waters