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CHAPTER XX.

THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE FAMILIES OF FISHES, WITH THE

RANGE OF SUCH GENERA AS INHABIT FRESH WATER.

SUB-CLASS I.-TELEOSTEI.

Order 1.-ACANTHOPTERYGII.

FAMILY 1.-GASTEROSTEIDÆ. (1 Genus, 11 Species.)

“ Fresh-water or marine scaleless fishes, with elongate compressed bodies and with isolated spines before the dorsal fin."

DISTRIBUTION.- Palæarctic and Nearctic regions.

The species of Gasterosteus, commonly called Sticklebacks, are found in rivers, lakes, estuaries, and seas, as far south as Italy and Ohio. Four species occur in Britain.

FAMILY 2.-BERYCIDÆ. (10 Genera, 55 Species.) “ Marine fishes, with elevated compressed bodies covered with toothed scales, and large eyes.”

DISTRIBUTION. — Tropical and temperate seas of both hemispheres.

Their northern limit is the Mediterranean and Japan. Most abundant in the Malayan seas.

FAMILY 3.-PERCIDÆ. (61 Genera, 476 Species.)

“Marine or fresh-water carnivorous fishes, with oblong bodies covered with toothed scales."

DISTRIBUTION.—Seas, rivers and lakes, of all regions.

The genera which inhabit fresh-waters are the following:

Perca (3 sp.), inhabits the Nearctic and Palæarctic regions as far south as Ohio and Switzerland; one species, the common perch, is British. Percichthys (5 sp.), Chili and Patagonia, with one species in Java; Paralabrax (2 sp.), California; Labrax (8 sp.), six species are marine, inhabiting the shores of Europe and North America, one being British, two species inhabit the rivers of the northern United States; Lates (2 sp.), Nile and large rivers of India and China ; Acerina (3 sp.), Europe, from England to Russia and Siberia ; Percarina (1 sp.), River Dniester; Lucioperca (6 sp.), North America and Europe; Pileoma (2 sp.), North America, Texas to Lake Erie ; Boleosoma (3 sp.), Texas to Lake Superior ; Aspro (2 sp.), Central Europe; Huro (1 sp.), Lake Huron; Percilia, (1 sp.), Rio de Maypu in Chili; Centrarchus (10 sp.), North America and Cuba; Bryttus (8 sp.), South Carolina to Texas; Pomotis (8 sp.), North America, Lake Erie to Texas.

Of the exclusively marine genera a species of Polyprion and one of Serranus are British. The latter genus has nearly 150 species spread over the globe, but is most abundant in the Tropics. Mesoprion is another extensive genus confined to the Tropics. . Apogon abounds from the Red Sea to the Pacific, but has one species in the Mediterranean and one in the coast of Brazil.

FAMILY 4.-APHREDODERIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

“Fresh-water fish, with oblong body covered with toothed scales, and wide cleft mouth.”

DISTRIBUTION.-Atlantic States of North America.

FAMILY 5.-PRISTIPOMATIDÆ. (25 Genera, 206 Species.)

“ Marine carnivorous fishes, with compressed oblong bodies, and without molar or cutting teeth."

DISTRIBUTION.-Seas of temperate and tropical regions, a few only entering fresh water.

Of the more extensive genera, nine, comprising more than half the species, are confined to the Indian and Australian seas, while only one large genus (Hæmulon) is found in the Atlantic on the coast of Tropical America. The extensive Pacific genus, Diagramma, has one species in the Mediterranean. One genus is confined to the Macquarie River in Australia. A species of Dentex has occurred on the English coast, and this seems to be the extreme northern range of the family, which does not regularly extend beyond the coast of Portugal, and in the East to Japan, Australia seems to form the southern limit.

FAMILY 6.-MULLIDÆ. (5 Genera, 34 Species.) “ Marine fishes, with elongate slightly compressed bodies covered with large scales, and two dorsal fins at a distance from each other."

DISTRIBUTION.--All tropical seas, except the West Coast of America, extending into temperate regions as far as the Baltic, Japan, and New Zealand.

Two species of Mullus (Mullets) are British, and these are the only European fish belonging to the family.

FAMILY 7.-SPARIDÆ. (22 Genera, 117 Species.) “ Herbivorous or carnivorous marine fishes, with oblong compressed bodies covered with minutely serrated scales, and with one dorsal fin."

DISTRIBUTION.-Seas of temperate and tropical regions, a few entering rivers.

Cantharus, Pagellus, and Chrysophrys, have occurred on the English Coast. Haplodactylus is confined to the West Coast of South America, and Australia ; Sargus to the temperate and warm parts of the Atlantic and the shores of East Africa; Pagellus to the western coasts of Europe and Africa.

The other large genera have a wider distribution,

FAMILY 8.-SQUAMIPENNES. (12 Genera, 124 Species.)

“Carnivorous marine fishes, with compressed and elevated bodies, and scaly vertical fins.”

DISTRIBUTION. — The seas between the tropics, most abundant in the Oriental and Australian regions, a few entering rivers or extending beyond the tropics.

The extensive genus Chætodon (67 sp.), ranges from the Red Sea to the Sandwich Islands, and from Japan to Western Australia, while two species are found in the West Indies. Holacanthus (36 sp.), has a similar distribution, one species only occurring in the West Indies and on the coast of South America. Only one genus (Pomacanthus), with a single species, is confined to the West Atlantic.

FAMILY 9.-CIRRHITIDÆ, (8 Genera, 34 Species.) “ Carnivorous marine fishes, with a compressed oblong body, covered with cycloid scales.”

DISTRIBUTION.-The tropical and south temperate waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, from Eastern Africa to Western America. Absent from the Atlantic.

FAMILY 10.—TRIGLIDÆ. (50 Genera, 259 Species.) 'Carnivorous, mostly marine fishes, with oblong compressed or subcylindrical bodies, and wide cleft mouths. They live at the bottom of the water."

DISTRIBUTION.-All seas, some entering fresh water, and a few inhabiting exclusively the fresh waters of the Arctic regions.

They are divided by Dr. Günther into four groups. The Heterolepidina (comprising 4 genera and 12 species) are confined to the North Pacific. The Scorpænina (23 genera 113 species) have an almost universal distribution, but the genera are each restricted to one or other of the great oceans. Sebastes has occurred on the English coast. The Cottina (28 genera 110 species) have also a universal distribution ; the numerous species of Cottus are found either in the seas or fresh waters of Europe and North America ; four species are British, as well as seven species of the wide-spread genus Trigla. Ptyonotus (1 sp.) is confined to Lake Ontario. The Cataphracti (5 genera, 23 species) have also a wide range; one genus, Agonus, is found in the British seas, and also in Kamschatka and on the coast of Chili. Peristethus is also British.

FAMILY 11.-TRACHINIDÆ. (24 Genera, 90 Species.) “ Carnivorous marine fishes, with elongate bodies, living at the bottom, near the shore.”

DISTRIBUTION.— Almost or quite universal.

Trachinus is a British gerus. A species of Aphritis inhabits the fresh waters of Tasmania, while its two allies are found on the coasts of Patagonia.

FAMILY 12. SCIÆNIDÆ.

SCIÆNIDÆ. (13 Genera, 102 Species.) “ Marine or fresh-water fishes, with compressed and rather elongate bodies, covered with toothed scales.”

DISTRIBUTION. — Temperate and tropical regions, but absent from Australia.

Larimus is found in the Atlantic, and in African and American rivers. Corvina, Sciena, and Otilothus are also marine and freshwater, both in the Atlantic and Pacific. The other genera are of small extent and more restricted range. Umbrina and Sciana have occurred in British seas.

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