Fish species numbers in the FishBase classification list


     The classification schema above genus level is limited in FishBase to classes, orders, families and subfamilies ranks (the latter not yet displayed). It has the advantage to keep it simple; it has the disadvantage to ignore some important clades in fish phylogeny like Chondrichthyes, Teleostei, Acanthomorpha, Percomorpha.

     In general, it follows Nelson's Fishes of the World (2006) with the noticeable exception of Elasmobranchii and Holocephali being elevated to class rank But at family level, FishBase may follow Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes that is updated more frequently to integrate new stable groupings.

     Number of taxa from Orders to Species are given for what they are, a useful tool for information and database management. The design of some analyses (so-called Biodiversity analyses) that uses these numbers must be carefully assessed before processing (see footnote for some critical points).

     Catalog of Fishes gives also number of species, including available names in the sense of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, which we don't have. Possible discrepancies between the species and genera numbers are explained in Bailly (2010). As Catalog of Fishes is updated ahead of FishBase, the numbers given there are in general more accurate.

     Wiley and Johnson published a new classification for Teleostei (2010). They propose to stabilize several hypotheses published recently or some (long) time ago by listing the known evidences (synapomorphies). FishBase will follow this new arrangement as soon as the ichthyological community endorses it, e.g., as published in a next version of Fishes of the World. In the meantime, to avoid confusion for non-specialists, we hold on the current one.

Note that the numbers of species given below does not take into account subspecies.

Total count of Genera: 5122
Total count of Species:


Number of Valid
Kingdom Phylum
Class
#6
Order
#64
Family
#549
Orders Families Genera Species
Animalia
Chordata
Myxini 1 1 6
Myxiniformes 1 6
Myxinidae 6
Cephalaspidomorphi 1 3 10
Petromyzontiformes 3 10
Petromyzontidae 8
Geotriidae 1
Mordaciidae 1
Elasmobranchii 12 51 201
Hexanchiformes 2 4
Hexanchidae 3
Chlamydoselachidae 1
Heterodontiformes 1 1
Heterodontidae 1
Orectolobiformes 7 13
Rhincodontidae 1
Parascylliidae 2
Brachaeluridae 1
Orectolobidae 3
Hemiscylliidae 2
Stegostomatidae 1
Ginglymostomatidae 3
Lamniformes 7 10
Odontaspididae 2
Mitsukurinidae 1
Pseudocarchariidae 1
Lamnidae 3
Megachasmidae 1
Cetorhinidae 1
Alopiidae 1
Carcharhiniformes 8 51
Scyliorhinidae 17
Proscylliidae 3
Pseudotriakidae 3
Leptochariidae 1
Triakidae 9
Hemigaleidae 4
Carcharhinidae 12
Sphyrnidae 2
Squaliformes 7 23
Dalatiidae 7
Etmopteridae 5
Somniosidae 5
Oxynotidae 1
Centrophoridae 2
Squalidae 2
Echinorhinidae 1
Pristiophoriformes 1 2
Pristiophoridae 2
Squatiniformes 1 1
Squatinidae 1
Torpediniformes 4 13
Narkidae 6
Narcinidae 4
Hypnidae 1
Torpedinidae 2
Rhinopristiformes 2 12
Rhinobatidae 10
Pristidae 2
Rajiformes 3 35
Rajidae 19
Arhynchobatidae 13
Anacanthobatidae 3
Myliobatiformes 8 36
Hexatrygonidae 1
Dasyatidae 19
Potamotrygonidae 4
Urotrygonidae 2
Gymnuridae 1
Plesiobatidae 1
Urolophidae 3
Myliobatidae 5
Holocephali 1 3 6
Chimaeriformes 3 6
Callorhinchidae 1
Chimaeridae 2
Rhinochimaeridae 3
Actinopterygii 46 487 4895
Polypteriformes 1 2
Polypteridae 2
Acipenseriformes 2 6
Acipenseridae 4
Polyodontidae 2
Lepisosteiformes 1 2
Lepisosteidae 2
Amiiformes 1 1
Amiidae 1
Elopiformes 2 2
Elopidae 1
Megalopidae 1
Albuliformes 1 3
Albulidae 3
Notacanthiformes 2 7
Halosauridae 3
Notacanthidae 4
Anguilliformes 16 157
Protanguillidae 1
Synaphobranchidae 12
Heterenchelyidae 2
Myrocongridae 1
Muraenidae 16
Chlopsidae 8
Colocongridae 2
Derichthyidae 2
Ophichthidae 61
Muraenesocidae 6
Nettastomatidae 7
Congridae 30
Moringuidae 2
Nemichthyidae 3
Serrivomeridae 2
Anguillidae 2
Saccopharyngiformes 4 5
Cyematidae 2
Saccopharyngidae 1
Eurypharyngidae 1
Monognathidae 1
Osteoglossiformes 7 32
Hiodontidae 1
Pantodontidae 1
Osteoglossidae 2
Arapaimidae 2
Notopteridae 4
Mormyridae 21
Gymnarchidae 1
Clupeiformes 6 84
Denticipitidae 1
Clupeidae 54
Dussumieriidae 2
Engraulidae 17
Chirocentridae 1
Pristigasteridae 9
Gonorynchiformes 4 7
Chanidae 1
Gonorynchidae 1
Kneriidae 4
Phractolaemidae 1
Cypriniformes 11 490
Gyrinocheilidae 1
Catostomidae 13
Vaillantellidae 1
Cobitidae 29
Barbuccidae 1
Serpenticobitidae 1
Balitoridae 36
Ellopostomatidae 1
Nemacheilidae 41
Psilorhynchidae 1
Cyprinidae 365
Characiformes 22 283
Citharinidae 3
Distichodontidae 16
Crenuchidae 12
Alestidae 18
Hepsetidae 1
Erythrinidae 3
Parodontidae 3
Cynodontidae 3
Serrasalmidae 16
Hemiodontidae 5
Anostomidae 14
Chilodontidae 2
Curimatidae 8
Prochilodontidae 3
Lebiasinidae 7
Ctenoluciidae 2
Triportheidae 5
Gasteropelecidae 3
Bryconidae 4
Iguanodectidae 3
Acestrorhynchidae 7
Characidae 145
Siluriformes 37 494
Diplomystidae 2
Cetopsidae 5
Chacidae 1
Olyridae 1
Plotosidae 10
Bagridae 21
Akysidae 5
Amblycipitidae 4
Sisoridae 18
Erethistidae 7
Pangasiidae 4
Siluridae 12
Aspredinidae 13
Auchenipteridae 22
Doradidae 33
Heptapteridae 24
Pimelodidae 32
Pseudopimelodidae 6
Clariidae 15
Heteropneustidae 1
Ariidae 30
Anchariidae 2
Austroglanididae 1
Cranoglanididae 1
Ictaluridae 7
Lacantuniidae 1
Amphiliidae 13
Malapteruridae 2
Mochokidae 9
Claroteidae 11
Schilbeidae 15
Nematogenyidae 1
Trichomycteridae 41
Callichthyidae 9
Loricariidae 113
Scoloplacidae 1
Astroblepidae 1
Gymnotiformes 5 35
Gymnotidae 2
Rhamphichthyidae 3
Hypopomidae 9
Sternopygidae 6
Apteronotidae 15
Esociformes 2 4
Esocidae 1
Umbridae 3
Osmeriformes 13 79
Argentinidae 2
Microstomatidae 3
Bathylagidae 8
Opisthoproctidae 8
Alepocephalidae 19
Platytroctidae 13
Leptochilichthyidae 1
Lepidogalaxiidae 1
Osmeridae 6
Plecoglossidae 1
Salangidae 7
Retropinnidae 3
Galaxiidae 7
Salmoniformes 1 11
Salmonidae 11
Stomiiformes 4 52
Gonostomatidae 8
Sternoptychidae 10
Phosichthyidae 7
Stomiidae 27
Ateleopodiformes 1 4
Ateleopodidae 4
Aulopiformes 16 44
Aulopidae 4
Chlorophthalmidae 2
Paraulopidae 1
Ipnopidae 5
Bathysauroididae 1
Scopelarchidae 4
Notosudidae 3
Giganturidae 1
Synodontidae 3
Bathysauridae 1
Paralepididae 12
Anotopteridae 1
Evermannellidae 3
Omosudidae 1
Alepisauridae 1
Pseudotrichonotidae 1
Myctophiformes 2 36
Neoscopelidae 3
Myctophidae 33
Lampriformes 7 12
Lampridae 1
Veliferidae 2
Lophotidae 2
Radiicephalidae 1
Trachipteridae 3
Regalecidae 2
Stylephoridae 1
Polymixiiformes 1 1
Polymixiidae 1
Percopsiformes 3 7
Percopsidae 1
Aphredoderidae 1
Amblyopsidae 5
Gadiformes 10 84
Muraenolepididae 2
Bregmacerotidae 1
Euclichthyidae 1
Macrouridae 35
Moridae 18
Melanonidae 1
Gadidae 13
Lotidae 6
Phycidae 2
Merlucciidae 5
Ophidiiformes 5 119
Ophidiidae 50
Carapidae 8
Bythitidae 53
Aphyonidae 6
Parabrotulidae 2
Batrachoidiformes 1 23
Batrachoididae 23
Lophiiformes 18 72
Lophiidae 4
Antennariidae 13
Tetrabrachiidae 2
Lophichthyidae 1
Brachionichthyidae 5
Chaunacidae 2
Ogcocephalidae 10
Caulophrynidae 2
Neoceratiidae 1
Melanocetidae 1
Himantolophidae 1
Diceratiidae 2
Oneirodidae 16
Thaumatichthyidae 2
Centrophrynidae 1
Ceratiidae 2
Gigantactinidae 2
Linophrynidae 5
Gobiesociformes 1 48
Gobiesocidae 48
Atheriniformes 10 51
Atherinidae 14
Bedotiidae 2
Melanotaeniidae 7
Pseudomugilidae 3
Telmatherinidae 5
Notocheiridae 1
Isonidae 1
Dentatherinidae 1
Phallostethidae 4
Atherinopsidae 13
Cyprinodontiformes 10 131
Aplocheilidae 2
Nothobranchiidae 12
Rivulidae 38
Valenciidae 1
Fundulidae 3
Cyprinodontidae 9
Profundulidae 1
Goodeidae 18
Poeciliidae 44
Anablepidae 3
Beloniformes 6 34
Scomberesocidae 2
Belonidae 10
Hemiramphidae 8
Zenarchopteridae 5
Exocoetidae 7
Adrianichthyidae 2
Stephanoberyciformes 4 11
Stephanoberycidae 4
Hispidoberycidae 1
Melamphaidae 5
Gibberichthyidae 1
Beryciformes 7 30
Monocentridae 2
Trachichthyidae 8
Anomalopidae 6
Diretmidae 3
Anoplogastridae 1
Berycidae 2
Holocentridae 8
Cetomimiformes 3 18
Rondeletiidae 1
Barbourisiidae 1
Cetomimidae 16
Zeiformes 6 16
Cyttidae 1
Oreosomatidae 4
Parazenidae 3
Zeniontidae 3
Grammicolepididae 3
Zeidae 2
Gasterosteiformes 5 11
Hypoptychidae 2
Gasterosteidae 5
Aulorhynchidae 1
Indostomidae 1
Pegasidae 2
Syngnathiformes 5 65
Aulostomidae 1
Fistulariidae 1
Centriscidae 5
Solenostomidae 1
Syngnathidae 57
Synbranchiformes 3 13
Synbranchidae 4
Mastacembelidae 3
Chaudhuriidae 6
Scorpaeniformes 36 290
Sebastidae 7
Setarchidae 3
Neosebastidae 2
Scorpaenidae 25
Apistidae 3
Tetrarogidae 17
Synanceiidae 9
Eschmeyeridae 1
Perryenidae 1
Aploactinidae 17
Pataecidae 3
Gnathanacanthidae 1
Congiopodidae 3
Dactylopteridae 2
Plectrogeniidae 1
Parabembridae 1
Bembridae 4
Triglidae 8
Peristediidae 6
Hoplichthyidae 1
Platycephalidae 18
Anoplopomatidae 2
Hexagrammidae 5
Normanichthyidae 1
Rhamphocottidae 1
Ereuniidae 2
Bathylutichthyidae 1
Cottidae 62
Cottocomephoridae 4
Comephoridae 1
Abyssocottidae 7
Hemitripteridae 3
Psychrolutidae 9
Agonidae 21
Cyclopteridae 6
Liparidae 32
Mugiliformes 1 28
Mugilidae 28
Perciformes 163 1754
Centropomidae 1
Ambassidae 8
Percichthyidae 10
Perciliidae 1
Howellidae 3
Lateolabracidae 1
Latidae 3
Acropomatidae 7
Moronidae 2
Polyprionidae 2
Dinopercidae 2
Serranidae 75
Ostracoberycidae 1
Symphysanodontidae 1
Centrogenyidae 1
Pseudochromidae 24
Grammatidae 2
Callanthiidae 2
Plesiopidae 12
Opistognathidae 3
Terapontidae 16
Banjosidae 1
Kuhliidae 1
Elassomatidae 1
Centrarchidae 8
Percidae 11
Priacanthidae 4
Apogonidae 38
Epigonidae 7
Dinolestidae 1
Sillaginidae 5
Malacanthidae 5
Lactariidae 1
Scombropidae 1
Pomatomidae 1
Rachycentridae 1
Echeneidae 3
Carangidae 30
Nematistiidae 1
Coryphaenidae 1
Menidae 1
Leiognathidae 9
Bramidae 7
Caristiidae 4
Arripidae 1
Emmelichthyidae 3
Lutjanidae 17
Caesionidae 4
Lobotidae 1
Datnioididae 1
Hapalogenyidae 1
Gerreidae 8
Haemulidae 19
Sparidae 37
Lethrinidae 5
Nemipteridae 5
Sciaenidae 66
Polynemidae 8
Mullidae 6
Pempheridae 2
Glaucosomatidae 1
Leptobramidae 1
Bathyclupeidae 1
Toxotidae 1
Dichistiidae 1
Kyphosidae 12
Parascorpididae 1
Drepaneidae 1
Monodactylidae 2
Chaetodontidae 12
Pomacanthidae 8
Enoplosidae 1
Pentacerotidae 7
Polycentridae 2
Nandidae 3
Badidae 2
Pristolepididae 1
Oplegnathidae 1
Cirrhitidae 12
Chironemidae 1
Aplodactylidae 1
Cheilodactylidae 4
Latridae 3
Cepolidae 5
Cichlidae 235
Embiotocidae 13
Pomacentridae 29
Labridae 71
Odacidae 6
Scaridae 10
Bathymasteridae 3
Zoarcidae 60
Stichaeidae 35
Cryptacanthodidae 1
Pholidae 4
Anarhichadidae 2
Ptilichthyidae 1
Zaproridae 1
Scytalinidae 1
Bovichtidae 3
Pseudaphritidae 1
Eleginopsidae 1
Nototheniidae 14
Harpagiferidae 1
Artedidraconidae 4
Bathydraconidae 11
Channichthyidae 11
Chiasmodontidae 4
Champsodontidae 1
Trichodontidae 2
Ammodytidae 7
Trachinidae 2
Uranoscopidae 8
Trichonotidae 1
Creediidae 8
Leptoscopidae 3
Percophidae 11
Pinguipedidae 7
Cheimarrichthyidae 1
Pholidichthyidae 1
Tripterygiidae 29
Labrisomidae 16
Clinidae 26
Chaenopsidae 14
Dactyloscopidae 9
Blenniidae 58
Icosteidae 1
Callionymidae 17
Draconettidae 2
Rhyacichthyidae 2
Odontobutidae 6
Eleotridae 33
Thalasseleotrididae 2
Gobiidae 249
Kraemeriidae 2
Microdesmidae 12
Xenisthmidae 6
Schindleriidae 1
Kurtidae 1
Ephippidae 8
Scatophagidae 2
Siganidae 1
Luvaridae 1
Zanclidae 1
Acanthuridae 6
Scombrolabracidae 1
Sphyraenidae 1
Gempylidae 16
Trichiuridae 10
Scombridae 15
Xiphiidae 1
Istiophoridae 5
Amarsipidae 1
Centrolophidae 7
Nomeidae 3
Ariommatidae 1
Tetragonuridae 1
Stromateidae 3
Anabantidae 4
Helostomatidae 1
Osphronemidae 14
Channidae 2
Caproidae 2
Pleuronectiformes 11 131
Psettodidae 1
Citharidae 4
Scophthalmidae 4
Paralichthyidae 14
Bothidae 20
Pleuronectidae 40
Achiropsettidae 4
Samaridae 3
Achiridae 7
Soleidae 31
Cynoglossidae 3
Tetraodontiformes 10 106
Triacanthodidae 11
Triacanthidae 4
Balistidae 12
Monacanthidae 27
Aracanidae 6
Ostraciidae 7
Triodontidae 1
Tetraodontidae 28
Diodontidae 7
Molidae 3
Sarcopterygii 3 4 4
Coelacanthiformes 1 1
Latimeriidae 1
Ceratodontiformes 1 1
Neoceratodontidae 1
Lepidosireniformes 2 2
Lepidosirenidae 1
Protopteridae 1


Footnote: Minelli makes a definitive point about ranking as being an arbitrary and subjective decision: "The main difficulty resides in determining whether two clades in distant parts of the phylogenetic tree deserve [being] acknowledged [at] the same rank or not." (Minelli, 2009:11). "But all this amounts to counting fruit by adding apples and cherries." (Minelli, 2009:12). In other words, if counting orders, families, and genera in a narrow context (e.g., number of genera in subfamilies of the same family) may be locally sensible (within a phylogenetic tree / classification), counting families across classes or orders is most often irrelevant: for instance, why assigning clown-fishes only the subfamily rank (Pomacentridae: Amphiprioninae) while the Moorish idol has a family of its own (Zanclidae), and not a subfamily in Acanthuridae?

References:

Bailly, N., 2010. Why there may be discrepancies in the assessment of scientific names between the Catalog of Fishes and FishBase. Electronic document. [Version 2, May 6th, 2010]. http://www.fishbase.org/Nomenclature/FBCofFNames.php

Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). Catalog of Fishes. Successive updated online versions http://research.calacademy.org/research/Ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp.

Eschmeyer, W.N. and J.D. Fong. Species of Fishes by family/subfamily. Successive updated online versions. http://research.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/SpeciesByFamily.asp.

Minelli, A., 2009. Perspectives in animal phylogeny. Oxford University Press.

Nelson, J.S., 2006. Fishes of the World. 4th ed. Hoboken (New Jersey, USA): John Wiley & Sons. xix+601 p. [Ref. 58010]

Wiley, E.O. and G.D. Johnson, 2010. pp. 123-182. A teleost classification based on monophyletic groups. In: Origin and phylogenetic interrelationships of Teleosts. Honoring Gloria Arratia. Proceedings of the International Symposium at the ASIH Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, 2007. (Nelson et al., eds). M√ľnchen (Germany): Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil. [Ref. 84927]

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