Taxonomy, Week 5 28 Feb 2005
Order Gonorhynchiformes (Milkfish)
Family Chanidae, Chanos chanos
slightly modified anterior vertebrae, large forked caudal fin, planktivorous.
popular in pond aquaculture, esp. in SE Asia. grows to 1.8 m in length.
No Weberian apparatus
Order Cypriniformes (Carps, minnows, loaches, suckers and allies)
fully scaled, physostomus, lack true fin spines
Originated in SE Asia, naturally distributed to Africa, Europe, & North America
(introduced to South America & Australia)
~ 2,000 species, very important ecologically & economically
In Vermont: See page 3 for list of families and species
Order Characiformes (Characins)
tropical species, found only in freshwater, Africa (200 spp.)
& Texas to South America (1,300 spp.)
piranhas, tetras, hatchetfishes
variable feeding methods: detritivory, herbivory, planktivory, predation, fin-eating, and
no scales (some have armor), have barbels (whiskers) around mouth, adipose fin (in most)
teeth only on premaxillary (in most)
dorsal & pectoral fins have spines (modified soft rays), which have “venom” in some spp.
omnivorous, but some w/ specialized diets (parasites)
some species swim upside down (reverse countershading)
most can breathe air, some have strong electrosensory development, some are blind
candiru – parasitic in urogenital canals!
4 pairs of barbels around mouth, adipose fin, no scales or armor, stout spine at leading edge of dorsal and pectoral fins (in bullheads).
Order Gymnotiformes (Knifefishes)
no dorsal fin, but long fleshy fin on back resembling adipose fin, usually no caudal/pelvic.
Anus & urogenital openings in front of pectorals
all members have some electric organs (some are stronger than others)
electric eel – up to 650 volts!
some are modified air-breathers
Order Cypriniformes, Representatives in Vermont: