Fishes of Worldwide (Circumtropical) Distribution

by John C. Briggs (1960)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Original pagination indicated within double brackets. My thanks to the journal Copeia for permitting this reprinting. Citation: Copeia No. 3, 1960: 171-180.


    In these days of concentration on fishes of relatively restricted areas, by means of regional checklists, circumscribed faunal works, and geographically limited revisions, one is apt to forget that many fishes are relatively unrestricted in distribution, and therefore cannot be said to belong to any one zoogeographic area. Although they may tend to interfere with attempts to give precise definition to the various zoogeographic regions, such species must not be overlooked, as they form an undeniable and interesting part of the general pattern of the dispersal of marine fishes.

    The purpose of this contribution is to call attention to those forms which are apparently worldwide in distribution, in the hope that they may receive additional consideration. It should be emphasized that the majority of the species mentioned in this work have not been subjected to recent systematic appraisal. Consequently, it is expected that this list will undergo considerable change in the near future.

    The following annotated list of 107 species includes only those which, according to the present state of our knowledge, form homogeneous species populations extending entirely around the world in tropical or temperate waters. Fishes that seem to be worldwide at the species level but that apparently break up into subspecific populations in parts of their range are not included. Under each species are listed only those recent references that seem to give a reasonably good indication of circumglobal distribution. In many instances, these references are reinforced by the citation of a definite record from the Eastern Pacific area. Several species have been listed for which no Indian Ocean captures are yet known. Presumably, this is a reflection of the paucity of collections from that region rather than an actual discontinuity in the range of the species.

    Worldwide fishes were found to occupy four different marine habitats. The "shore" species are those found in waters that overlie the continental shelf where the depth is less than 200 meters (109 fathoms). "Pelagic" fishes generally inhabit the surface layers of water--at depths of less than 200 meters--in the offshore regions, usually beyond the limits of the continental shelf. Species inhabiting the offshore waters below 200 meters, but not including the sea bottom, are in the "bathypelagic" zone. The "benthic" forms are bottom fishes found at depths greater than 200 meters. In many cases the designation of habitat has been quite arbitrary, especially in regard to the pelagic versus the shore species. For example, many of the carangids are fast swimmers and exhibit a body shape and coloration that is apparently well adapted to a pelagic existence yet they may be most often caught in relatively shallow water. Perhaps such fishes should be placed in a special "shore-pelagic" category.

    Although relatively few of the total number of recent fish families are represented on this list, it can be seen that worldwide species have cropped up at many different evolutionary stages. At the primitive extreme, it may be noted that there are not only many cosmopolitan elasmobranchs but that two lancelets, Asymmetron lucayanum Andrews and the larval Amphioxides pelagicus (Günther), have almost achieved a similar distribution, since they are missing only from the Eastern Pacific. At the other end of the scale, we find several plectognaths and at least not ceratioid species with circumglobal distributions.

    As one might suspect, there is a high percentage of wide-ranging species in the families that have exploited the pelagic and bathypelagic environments most successfully.


    Despite the fact that the species of marine shore fishes are exceedingly numerous, it is still surprising to find that 14 stray from their littoral habitat, as larvae or adults, often enough to establish worldwide populations.

    Ekman (1953: 73), as well as a number of others, has emphasized that the broad expanse of open ocean between Polynesia and America is responsible for the most pronounced break in the circumtropical shore fauna. Since we have noted that 14 shore fishes have been able to cross this "East Pacific Barrier" in establish worldwide ranges, the question may arise as to just how [[p. 172]] effective is the barrier in limiting the distribution of shore species that have shown the ability to become widely dispersed in other parts of the world? A search of the ichthyological literature reveals that apparently only five or six shore species are well established in the warm waters of all oceans but the Eastern Pacific. These are the southern lancelet, Asymmetron lucayanum Andrews, the snakefish Trachinocephalus myops (Forster), the ruby snapper Etelis carbunculus (Cuvier)--usually known as E. oculatus (Cuvier) in the Western Atlantic, the great barracuda Sphyraena barracuda (Walbaum), and the bristle filefish Stephanolepis setifer (Bennett). To these five may be added the flat needlefish Ablennes hians hians (Valenciennes) if it should be properly considered a shore instead of a pelagic species. The black triggerfish Melichthys radula (Solander) and the smooth triggerfish Canthidermis maculatus (Bloch) are not included because these forms have apparently succeeded in crossing the major portion of the barrier in becoming established around certain offshore islands of the Eastern Pacific.

    These data make possible a generalization that seems justified in the light of our present knowledge about the species concerned: Of those tropical shore fishes that have a broad distribution elsewhere (on both sides of the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the Western Pacific), the majority have been able to cross the East Pacific zoogeographic barrier.

    The foregoing statement is applicable only to the wide-ranging shore fishes. For other shore species, which constitute an overwhelming majority, the East Pacific barrier is very effective indeed. Its efficiency depends not only on distance, as has been generally assumed, but also on ecological factors.


    As would be expected, by far the majority of fishes showing a worldwide distribution can be considered as typical of the open ocean waters. The 42 bathypelagic and 48 pelagic species comprise 84.1 percent of the entire list. During the process of compiling distributional records, it was noted that an impressive number of these species are apparently affected by the same East Pacific Barrier that operates so noticeably on the shallow-water marine fauna.

    No fewer than 28 species of bathypelagic fishes, which show evidence of a broad distribution in the other oceans, have failed to become established in the Eastern Pacific. A similar pattern is shown by at least 15 of the pelagic forms. Many of these bathypelagic species are infrequently captured and are difficult to properly identify and the same can be said for at least a few of the pelagic fishes. For this reason, the absence of so many from the Eastern Pacific may be more apparent than real. With regard to the present distributional picture, however, it can be stated that more than one-third of the wide-ranging bathypelagic and pelagic fishes are evidently prevented from achieving a worldwide distribution by their inability to cross the East Pacific Barrier.

    If in the light of future investigations the East Pacific Barrier (previously considered to be operative only in the case of the littoral fauna) continues to appear effective for bathypelagic and pelagic fishes, it may be concluded that many species, usually considered to be well adapted to life in the open ocean, may actually be dependent on a certain degree of proximity to land masses or to relatively shallow water areas.

    Rapid progress in systematic work on the bathypelagic fishes is yielding increasing evidence of the wide distribution of a large percentage of the species. At present only a few of these forms are known from waters deeper than 2000 meters (1000 fathoms). Most of the 17 species from such depths listed by Grey (1956: 311-2) are already held to be very widely dispersed: seven are worldwide and two more have been taken from almost all areas except the Eastern Pacific.


    Although our knowledge of the benthic fishes is still very limited, it may be said that, in general, their dispersal is quite restricted. Grey (1956: 804) gives a distributional list of benthic species that have been taken below a depth of 2000 meters.

    As may be noted by reference to the list herein presented, only three benthic fishes were found to have a circumtropical distribution. As matters now stand, there is, among the wide-ranging members of this group also, some indication of an unexpected scarcity in the Eastern Pacific. Such species as Heptranchias perlo (Bonnaterre), Dalatias licha (Bonnaterre), Bathysaurus ferox Günther, Ipnops murrayi Günther, Synaphobranchus kaupi Johnson, Venefica procera, (Goode and Bean), Chascanopsetta lugubris Alcock, Nematonurus armatus (Hector) seem to have a broad distribution elsewhere but, so far, there is no [[p. 173]] indication of their presence in the depths of the Eastern Pacific area.


Family Hexanchidae

1. Hexanchus griseus (Bonnaterre)--sixgill cowshark. Benthic. A species from moderately deep water, usually 75-300 fathoms. Good evidence for a cosmopolitan distribution is given by Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 80-7).

Family Isuridae

2. Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus)--white shark. Pelagic. Good evidence for a cosmopolitan distribution is given by Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 134-45).

Family Cetorhinidae

3. Cetorhinus maximus (Gunner)--basking shark. Pelagic. Although this species is almost always taken in cold or temperate waters, it is found in both northern and southern hemispheres indicating some movement across the equatorial regions. Range from Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 147-60).

Family Alopiidae

4. Alopias vulpinus (Bonnaterre)--common thresher. Pelagic. Considered to be worldwide, although the Western Pacific species may be distinct from the A. vulpinus of the other oceans, according to Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 167-78).

Family Rhineodontidae

5. Rhineodon typhus Smith--whale shark. Pelagic. Reliable reports from the tropical waters of all oceans are listed by Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 193-5).

Family Carcharhinidae

6. Galeocerdo cuvieri (Peron and Lesueur)--tiger shark. Shore. Well substantiated records from the tropical and subtropical portions of all the oceans are summarized by Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 271-5).
7. Prionace glauca (Linnaeus)--great blue shark. Pelagic. Many records from all oceans. Also has a wide latitudinal range, according to Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 282-92).
8. Carcharhinus limbatus (Müller and Henle)--blacktip shark. Pelagic. Considered by Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 346-53) to have a worldwide range, although there may be some doubt about the literature records from the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.
9. Carcharhinus longimanus (Poey)--white-tip shark. Pelagic. Rosenblatt and Baldwin (1958: 148) call attention to the worldwide distribution of this species.

Family Sphyrnidae

10. Sphyrna tiburo (Linnaeus)--bonnethead. Shore. Although Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 425) thought that this species was not likely to be found in Indian or Western Pacific waters, Herre (1953: 27-8) includes it on his Philippine list and gives additional records.
11. Sphyrna zygaena (Linnaeus)--common hammerhead. Shore. Good evidence for a cosmopolitan range is given by Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 436-49).
12. Sphyrna mokarran (Rüppell)--great hammerhead. Pelagic. This species is the same as that called S. tudes by Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 428-36). Tortonese (1950: 1030-3) corrected the nomenclature after an examination of the types. He also states that it definitely occurs in the Indo-Pacific and should be considered worldwide.

Family Dalatiidae

13. Isistius brasiliensis (Quoy and Gaimard). Pelagic. As Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 509-14) show, there is little doubt that this distinctive species is indeed worldwide.

Family Echinorhinidae

14. Echinorhinus brucus (Bonnaterre)--bramble shark. Shore. This rare species is at present to be considered to be cosmopolitan, as by Bigelow and Schroeder (1948: 527-32), but more than one form may be included.

Family Squalidae

15. Squalus fernandinus Molina. Pelagic. The recent description of three Western Atlantic specimens by Bigelow, Schroeder, and Springer (1953: 221) established a circumtropical range for this species. Chilean range is given by Mann (1954: 108).

[[p. 174]] Family Mylobatidae

16. Aetobatus narinari (Euphrasen)--spotted duckbill ray. Shore. The circumtropical range of this ray is well established. The most complete modern account is that of Bigelow and Schroeder (1954: 453-65).

Family Mobulidae

17. Manta birostris (Walbaum)--manta. Pelagic. Considered to be circumtropical although, according to Bigelow and Schroeder (1954: 511), there is some doubt about the specific relationship of the Atlantic and Pacific populations.

Family Albulidae

18. Albula vulpes (Linnaeus)--bonefish. Shore. Circumtropical range is shown by Smith (1949: 436). Eastern Pacific records are listed by Fowler (1944: 481).

Family Sternoptychidae

According to the literature on the genus Argyropelecus, there are three species (A. affinis Garman, A. olfersi (Cuvier), and A. sladeni Regan) which could be considered worldwide in distribution. However, Dr. Leonard P. Schultz has in press a review of this group and he has written (personal communication) that he has no evidence of such broad distribution for any of the species.

19. Sternoptyx diophana Hermann. Bathypelagic. As was mentioned by Haig (1955: 319), this species has been reported from many parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans.

Family Gonostomatidae

20. Cyclothone microdon (Günther)--small-tooth bristlemouth. Bathypelagic. Listed by Smith (1949: 437) as occurring in all oceans but the Eastern Pacific. Recorded from California by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 11).
21. Cyclothone pallida Brauer--bicolored bristlemouth. Bathypelagic. Listed for the Bahama Islands by Fowler (1944: 436), from the Eastern Atlantic and Indian oceans by Fowler (1936: 226), and from California by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 11). The evidence for a worldwide distribution seems quite good despite the absence of a Western Pacific record.
22. Cyclothone signata Garman--showy bristlemouth. Bathypelagic. Considered to have a worldwide distribution by Smith (1949: 437). Presence in Eastern Pacific is verified by Fowler (1944: 484) and Hubbs and Follett (1953: 11).
23. Cyclothone acclinidens Garman--bent-tooth bristlemouth. Bathypelagic. Grey (1956: 126) lists records that demonstrate a cosmopolitan occurrence. However, she notes that C. acclinidens is very close to C. microdon and suggests that the two species have been confused at times.
24. Maurolicus muelleri (Gmelin). Bathypelagic. Recognized as occurring in all oceans except the Eastern Pacific by Smith (1949: 437). Listed from the Pacific coast of South America by Fowler (1944: 484).
25. Vinciguerria nimbaria (Jordan and Williams). Bathypelagic. From unpublished information based on a personal communication from Mrs. Marion Grey and from the recent paper by Ahlstrom and Counts (1958: 405-9).

Family Stomiatidae

Although Ege (1934: 9) in his revision of the genus Stomias indicates a worldwide distribution for S. affinis Günther, Dr. Carl L. Hubbs (personal communication) states that neither of the two Eastern Pacific species is referable to this form.

Family Idiacanthidae

A circumtropical distribution for Idiacanthus fasciola Peters is indicated by Smith (1949: 437) but Dr. Carl L. Hubbs writes (pers. comm.) that it has not been taken in the Eastern Pacific.

Family Neoscopelidae

26. Neoscopelus macrolepidotus Johnson. Bathypelagic. The general occurrence is given by Fraser-Brunner (1949: 1039) as "temperate and warm seas."

Family Myctophidae

27. Ceratoscopelus townsendi (Eigenmann and Eigenmann). Bathypelagic. Bolin (1959: 37) states that this species occurs commonly in a broad circumglobal belt between the latitudes of approximately 35° N. and S.
28. Notoscopelus resplendens (Richardson). Bathypelagic. A circumglobal range for this species is indicated by Bolin (1959: 40).
29. Lampadena luminosa Garman. [[p. 175]] Bathypelagic, A worldwide distribution between 25° N and 30° S. Latitude reported by Dr. Rolf L. Bolin (pers. comm.).
30. Loweina rara (Lütken). Bathypelagic. This is a circumglobal species having been taken between 25° N. and 35° S. latitude (Bolin, pers. comm.).
31. Diogenichthys atlanticus (Tåning). Bathypelagic. Bolin (1959: 11) considers that it is probable that this species has a worldwide distribution between the latitudes of 40° N. and S.
32. Notolychnus valdiviae (Brauer). Bathypelagic. There are numerous records from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans showing this to be a circumglobal species inhabiting a wide temperature range according to Bolin (1959: 23).
33. Gonichthys barnesi Whitley. Bathypelagic. Bolin (1959: 17) mentions that this species is distributed around the world between 30° to 40° S. latitude.
34. Lepidophanes pyrsobolus (Alcock). Bathypelagic. Bolin (1959: 37) shows this to be a circumtropical form between 35° N. and 35° S. latitude.
35. Lampanyctus nobilis Tåning. Bathypelagic. Bolin (pers. comm.) states that this species is circumglobal in a broad area between 20° N. and 20° S. latitude. It has been confused with L. macropterus (Brauer).
36. Lampanyctus niger Günther. Bathypelagic. Although restricted to the southern hemisphere, this species extends entirely around the world and occurs as far north as 35° S. latitude (Bolin, pers. comm.).
37. Lampanyctus tenuiformis (Brauer). Bathypelagic. Beebe and Vander Pyle (1944: 87) show an Eastern and Western Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Eastern Pacific distribution. Fraser-Brunner (1949: 1087) mentions the Indian Ocean. Despite the lack of a Western Pacific record, this species is probably a worldwide form.
38. Lympanyctus festivus Tåning. Bathypelagic. According to information from Bolin (pers. comm.), this species is probably circumglobal but it has often been confused with L. tenuiformis.
39. Diaphus dumerili (Bleeker). Bathypelagic. Beebe and Vander Pyle (1944: 88) show a distribution for all major areas except the Indian Ocean. However, Fraser-Brunner, (1949: 1086) indicates its presence there. Bolin (pers. comm.) writes that it is found between 35° N. and 25° S. latitude.
40. Lobianchia gemellari (Cocco). Bathypelagic. The only major oceanic area from which this species is not reported by Beebe and Vander Pyle (1944: 89) and by Fraser-Brunner (1949: 1066) is the Western Pacific. Despite this, the species probably has a worldwide distribution. Bolin (1959: 20) points out that this species has been confused with L. dofleini (Zugmayer).
41. Centrobranchus nigroocellatus (Günther). Bathypelagic. Bolin (1959: 18) says that this species, as presently understood, appears to be circumglobal between the latitudes of 35° N. and 30° S.
42. Benthosema suborbitale (Gilbert). Bathypelagic. According to Bolin (1959: 11), this species appears to have a worldwide distribution in tropical or subtropical waters and, in regions where currents carry warm water to the north or south, it may be taken at or even somewhat beyond the latitudes of 50°.
43. Taaningichthys bathyphilus (Tåning), Bathypelagic. Bolin (1959: 26) states that the comparatively few captures indicate a circumglobal range between about 30° N. and 26° S. latitude.
44. Triphoturus nigrescens (Braver). Bathypelagic. Bolin (pers. comm.) finds this to be worldwide between 24° N. and 37° S. latitude.

Family Scopelarchidae

45. Scopelarchus analis Brauer--common pearleye. Bathypelagic. Records for the Eastern Atlantic, Indian, and Antarctic oceans are cited by Fowler (1936: 354). Listed for Bahama Islands by Fowler (1944: 438) and for California by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 17).

Family Eurypharyngidae

46. Eupharynx pelecanoides Vaillant--gulper. Bathypelagic. A summary of the distributional records for this species is given by Grey (1956: 139).

Family Nemichthyidae

47. Nemichthys scolopaceus Richardson--common snipe-eel. Bathypelagic. Occurrences in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and Western Pacific listed by Beebe and Crane (1937: 353), and it was recently recorded from California by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 18).
48. Cyema atrum Günther--bobtail snipe- [[p. 176]] eel. Bathypelagic. Grey (1956: 151) gives a multitude of records from all oceans which show this to be a common, worldwide species.

Family Regalicidae

49. Regalecus glesne (Ascanius)--oarfish. Pelagic. Presence in all oceans but the Eastern Pacific was indicated by Smith (1949: 440). Recorded from California by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 20).

Family Trachipteridae

50. Trachipterus cristatus Bonelli--scalloped ribbonfish. Pelagic. Circumtropical range based on a personal communication from Dr. Vladimir Walters who with Mr. John E. Fitch and Dr. Richard H. Backus is revising this family.
51. Trachipterus polystictus Ogilby--polka-dotted ribbonfish. Pelagic. Circumtropical range based on a personal communication from Dr. Vladimir Walters.

Family Lophotidae

52. Lophotus capellei Temminck and Schlegel--crestfish. Pelagic. Worldwide range indicated by Briggs (1952: 206).

Family Lampridae

53. Lampris regius (Bonnaterre)--opah. Pelagic. Smith (1949: 440) gives a circumtropical range. Presence in the Eastern Pacific is verified by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 19).

Family Macrouridae

54. Gadomus longifilis (Goode and Bean)--rattail. Benthic. Parr (1946: 10) accepts this species as cosmopolitan but Grey (1956: 166) remarks that it may be confined to the Atlantic.

Family Moridae

55. Antimora rostrata Günther. Benthic. Grey (1956: 160) lists many records that show this to be a rather common, worldwide species.

Family Anoplogastridae

56. Anoplogaster cornuta Valenciennes--fangtooth. Bathypelagic. Norman (1930: 347) gives records (listed as Caulolepis longidens) from the Atlantic, California coast, and Hawaiian Islands. Mrs. Marion Grey has further evidence (unpublished) that suggests a worldwide distribution.

Family Melamphaidae

According to the published literature on this family, both Melamphaes mizolepis (Günther) and M. nigrescens Brauer should be considered circumtropical. However, Dr. Alfred W. Ebeling is completing a study on this group and advises (pers. comm.) that the above species are replaced, in the Eastern Pacific, by related forms.

Family Priacanthidae

57. Priacanthus cruentatus (Lacépède)--bigeye. Shore. Herre (1953: 375) and others indicate the range as Atlantic (both sides) to the Indo-Pacific. However, there are specimens in both the University of British Columbia and the University of California at Los Angeles collections from San Lucas Bay, Baja California, and Dr. Boyd Walker has recently provided information (via personal communication) about a U.C.L.A. specimen from Panama Bay.

Family Carangidae

58. Naucrates ductor (Linnaeus)--pilotfish. Pelagic. The records for this common, widespread species are most recently compiled by Herre (1953: 274).
59. Elagatis bipinnulatus (Quoy and Gaimard)--rainbow runner. Pelagic. Herre (1953: 272) agrees with most previous authors in listing the range as circumtropical.
60. Selar crumenophthalmus (Bloch)--bigeye scad. Pelagic. Records of this common, worldwide species are summarized by Herre (1953: 280).
61. Caranx hippos (Linnaeus)--common jack. Pelagic. As Smith (1949: 447) shows in his distributional chart, this species has been commonly believed to occur in all oceans but the Eastern Pacific. However, Mr. Frederick H. Berry has just published (1959: 438) a revision of the Western Atlantic members of the genus in which he considers this and the two following species to be circumtropical in distribution.
62. Caranx lugubris (Poey)--tinosa. Pelagic. Circumtropical range recently established by Berry (1959: 438).
63. Caranx dentex (Bloch and Schneider)--guara. Pelagic. Circumtropical range recently established by Berry (1959: 438).

[[p. 177]] Family Coryphaenidae

64. Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus--dolphin. Pelagic. The distribution of this common, worldwide species is most recently summarized by Gibbs and Collette (1959: 136).
65. Coryphaena equiselis Linnaeus--pompano dolphin. Pelagic. Gibbs and Collette (1959: 136) state that this species appears to be cosmopolitan in warm seas. Earlier authors are in agreement.

Family Gempylidae

66. Ruvettus pretiosus Cocco--escolar. Pelagic. Most recent account is that of Herre (1953: 253), who considers this to be a circumtropical species. Presence in Eastern Pacific is verified by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 25).
67. Lepidocybium flavobrunneum (Smith). Pelagic. Presence in the Atlantic, Indian, and Western Pacific oceans is indicated by the distributional chart of Smith (1949: 455). Occurrence in California is listed by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 25).
68. Gemplyus serpens Cuvier--snake mackerel. Pelagic. Herre (1953: 252) gives a circumtropical distribution. Its presence in the Eastern Pacific is verified by Fowler (1944: 499).

Family Bramidae

69. Brama brama (Bonnaterre)--common pomfret. Pelagic. Smith (1949: 455) indicates a scattered, worldwide distribution (under the designation of Brama raii). Presence in the Eastern Pacific is verified by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 24). It is a common offshore species in British Columbia waters.
70. Taractes longipinnis Lowe. Pelagic. This rare species may now be considered worldwide. In a recent review of the genus, Mead (1957: 51-61) found it to occur on both sides of the Atlantic and in the Eastern Pacific. Kamohara (1952: 33) describes and figures a large individual from Japan (under the designation of Taractes principes).

Family Scombridae

71. Thunnus alalunga (Gmelin)--albacore. Pelagic. Smith (1949: 454) shows a distribution in all oceans but the Eastern Pacific. Hubbs and Follett (1953: 25) note its occurrence in California waters. Rivas (1951: 222) mentions a lack of authentic Western Atlantic records but Bullis and Mather (1956: 8) supply these.
72. Thunnus obesus Lowe--bigeye tuna. Pelagic. If the Bigeye tuna of the Pacific, Thunnus mebachi (Kishinouye)--often called T. sibi Temminck and Schlegel, is the same as that of the Atlantic, then there is but one worldwide species. Fraser-Brunner (1950: 144) is of this opinion.
73. Katsuwonus pelamis (Linnaeus)--ocean bonito. PeIagic. Herre (1953: 249) gives the range as cosmopolitan in temperate and tropic waters. Presence in the Eastern Pacific is verified by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 25).
74. Auxis thazard (Lacépède)--frigate mackerel. Pelagic. This common species is listed for all tropical and warm seas by Herre (1953: 247). Its presence in the Eastern Pacific is verified by Fowler (1944: 498).
75. Acanthocybium solanderi (Cuvier)--wahoo. Pelagic. Herre (1953: 245) gives a wide Indo-Pacific distribution and mentions that it is apparently identical with the West Indian form. Recorded from Ceylon by Munro (1955: 220) and from the Eastern Pacific by Ricker (1959: 13). Since this fish is clearly named by Cuvier (in Cuvier and Valenciennes) after Daniel Solander, a pupil of Linnaeus, the specific name should be written solanderi--not solandri, as is usually done.

Family Xiphiidae

76. Xiphias gladius Linnaeus--swordfish. Pelagic. Herre (1953: 256) and almost all previous authors list this species for all tropical and temperate seas.

Family Istiophoridae

77. Makaira nigricans Lacépède--blue marlin. Pelagic. As the result of a comparison of Atlantic and Pacific specimens, Dr. C. Richard Robins (mimeographed Progress Rept. No. 6. The Charles F. Johnson Oceanic Gamefish Investigations, 1960) concludes that the blue marlin is a single, worldwide species.

Family Tetragonuridae

78. Tetragonurus atlanticus Lowe--square-tail. Pelagic. A cosmopolitan distribution for this species is shown by Grey (1955: 33) in her revision of the genus.

[[p. 178]] Family Mugilidae

79. Mugil cephalus Linnaeus--striped mullet. Shore. Although most authors consider this to be a single, worldwide species, some recent evidence indicates that detailed morphological investigation will disclose a complex of species or subspecies (see de Sylva, Stearns, and Tabb, 1956: 1-45).

Family Echeneidae

80. Remora remora (Linnaeus)--remora. Pelagic. Herre (1953: 775) states that this species is found in all warm seas. Presence in the Eastern Pacific is verified by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 24).
81. Phtheirichthys lineatus (Menzies). Pelagic. The distribution shown by Smith (1949: 457) includes all oceans but the Eastern Pacific. Recorded from this area by Fowler (1944: 518).
82. Remoropsis brachyptera (Lowe)--gray marlinsucker. Pelagic. A worldwide distribution except for the Eastern Pacific shown by Smith (1949: 457). Recorded from California by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 24).
83. Remilegia australis (Bennett). Pelagic. Jordan, Evermann, and Clark (1930: 449) quote a record by Lütken from the Western Atlantic (10° N., 30° W.). Smith (1958: 319) recently reported this species from South Africa and gives literature records for the Indian Ocean, Western Pacific, and Eastern Pacific.
84. Remorina albescens (Temminck and Schlegel)--mantasucker. Pelagic. Listed for the Brazilian area (Santos) by Fowler (1941: 177). Maul (1956: 66) describes a specimen from Madeira and Smith (1949: 457) shows a distribution from South Africa to the Western Pacific. There are many records for the Eastern Pacific, that of Hubbs and Follett (1953: 24) being the most recent.
85. Rhombochirus osteochir (Cuvier)--hardfin remora. Pelagic. This distinctive species was once thought to be confined to the warm waters of the Western Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific. However, Fowler (1949: 143) identified it from Hawaii and Maul (1956: 26) examined specimens from the Eastern Atlantic and Dutch New Guinea.

Family Rachycentridae

86. Rachycentron canadus (Linnaeus)--crabeater. Shore. Range given by Herre (1953: 287) as "all warm seas but Eastern Pacific." However, it is recorded from the coast of Chile (Iquique) by Fowler (1944: 502).

Family Pomatomidae

87. Pomatomus saltatrix (Linnaeus)--bluefish. Pelagic. Shown from all oceans but the Eastern Pacific by Smith (1949: 448). Recorded from the coast of Chile (Valparaiso) by Fowler (1944: 502).

Family Centriscidae

88. Macrorhamphosus gracilis (Lowe)--slender snipefish. Pelagic. In her fine revision of the family, Mohr (1937: 61) shows a worldwide distribution for this species.
89. Macrorhamphosus scolopax (Linnaeus)--snipefish. Pelagic. A worldwide distribution similar to that of the above species, according to Mohr (1937: 61).

Family Chiasmodontidae

90. Chiasmodon niger Johnson--black swallower. Bathypelagic. This interesting species is recorded by Norman (1930: 349) from the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Listed from California by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 34).

Family Diodontidae

91. Diodon holacanthus Linnaeus--balloon fish. Shore. Smith (1949: 463) shows a distribution to all oceans except the Eastern Pacific. Recorded from a number of Eastern Pacific localities by Fowler (1944: 527).
92. Diodon hystrix Linnaeus--porcupine fish. Shore. As in the case of the above species, Smith's (1949: 463) distributional chart indicates an occurrence in all major areas but the Eastern Pacific. The most recent record from this area is that of Hubbs and Follett (1953: 38).

Family Molidae

93. Mola mola (Linnaeus)--headfish. Pelagic. In his recent revision of the family, Fraser-Brunner (1951: 113), gives an extensive synonymy which demonstrates a worldwide distribution.
94. Ranzania laevis (Pennant)--slender mola. Pelagic. The recent revision by Fraser-Brunner (1951: 96) shows a worldwide distribution for this species too.

[[p. 179]] Family Balistidae

95. Xanthichthys ringens (Linnaeus)--redtail triggerfish. Shore. Clark (1949: 10) indicates that X. lineopunctatus (Hollard), a widespread Indo-Pacific species, is the same as X. ringens (Linnaeus) of the Atlantic. It is reported, under the former name, from California by Hubbs and Follett (1953: 38).

Family Aluteridae

96. Alutera monoceros (Osbeck)--unicorn filefish. Shore. The only Eastern Pacific record for this distinctive species seems to be that of Hiyama in the book by Kumada (1937: 54, pl. 86) from somewhere along the Mexican coast. However, there is a specimen in the U. B. C. collection (BC60-31) taken by Mr. Tony Pletcher 2.5 miles south of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico, on July 11, 1959. There are many records in the literature for both sides of the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the Western Pacific.
97. Alutera scripta (Osbeck)--longtail filefish. Shore. Reported from all seas but the Eastern Pacific by Smith (1949: 462). Snodgrass and Heller (1905: 410) list it from the west coast of Mexico as well as from some of the offshore islands.

Family Ceratiidae

98. Cryptopsaras couesi Gill. Bathypelagic. This and the following species of this family are listed from the distributional table provided by Bertelsen (1951: 222) in his excellent treatise on the family based on the material from the various "Dana" expeditions.
99. Melanocetus johnsoni Günther. Bathypelagic. Worldwide according to Bertelsen (1951: 222).
100. Himantolophus groenlandicus Reinhardt. Bathypelagic. Worldwide according to Bertelsen (1951: 222).
101. Ceratias holboelli Kröyer. Bathypelagic. Worldwide according to Bertelsen (1951: 222).
102. Microlophichthys microlophus (Regan). Bathypelagic. Worldwide according to Bertelsen (1951: 222).
103. Chaenophyrne parviconus Regan and Trewavas. Bathypelagic. Worldwide according to Bertelsen (1951: 222).
104. Caulophyrne jordani Goode and Bean. Bathypelagic. Worldwide according to Bertelsen (1951: 222).
105. Edriolychnus schmidti Regan. Bathypelagic. Worldwide according to Bertelsen (1951: 222).
106. Pentherichthys atratus (Regan and Trewavas). Bathypelagic. Worldwide according to Bertelsen (1951: 222).
107. Dolopichthys longicornus Parr. Bathypelagic. Worldwide according to Bertelsen (1951: 222).

Acknowledgements.--I wish to express my appreciation, especially, to Rolf L. Bolin of the Hopkins Marine Station for much helpful information about the distribution of the Myctophidae and to Marion Grey of the Chicago Natural History Museum for sending data about several other deepwater fishes. I am also indebted to Carl L. Hubbs and Alfred W. Ebeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Vladimir Walters of the American Museum of Natural History, Leonard P. Schultz and Ernest A. Lachner of the U. S. National Museum, Giles W. Mead of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, and Boyd W. Walker of the University of California at Los Angeles for providing useful information upon certain species groups or individual specimens. Finally, my thanks to Carl L. Hubbs and to Peter A. Larkin and Casimir C. Lindsey of the University of British Columbia for their helpful criticism of the manuscript.


AHLSTROM, E. H., and R. G. COUNTS. 1958. Development and Distribution of Vinciguerria lucetia and related species in the Eastern Pacific. Fishery Bull., U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv., 58(139): 363-416, 29 figs.

BEEBE, W., and J. CRANE. 1937. Deep-sea fishes of the Bermuda oceanographic expeditions. Family Nemichthyidae. Zoologica, 22(27): 349-83, 22 figs.

BEEBE, W., and M. VANDER PILE. 1944. Eastern Pacific expeditions of the New York Zoological Society XXXIII. Pacific Myctophidae (fishes). Zoologica, 29(9): 59-95, 25 figs.

BERRY, F. H. 1959. Young jack crevalles (Caranx species) of the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States. Fishery Bull., U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. 59(152): 417-535, 98 figs.

BERTELSEN, E. 1951. The ceratioid fishes. Dana-Report No. 39: 276 pp., 141 figs.

BIGELOW, H. B., and W. C. SCHROEDER. 1948. Sharks, In Fishes of the Western North Atlantic, Part I. Sears Foundation, Bingham Oceanographic Lab., New Haven: 59-576, figs. 6-106.

BIGELOW, H. B., and W. C. SCHROEDER. 1954. Fishes of the Western North Atlantic, part II. Sawfishes, guitarfishes, skates, rays, chimaeroids. Sears Foundation, Bingham Oceanographic Lab., New Haven: xv + 588 pp., 127 figs.

BIGELOW, H. B., W. C. SCHROEDER, and S. SPRINGER. 1953. New and little known sharks [[p. 180]] from the Atlantic and from the Gulf of Mexico. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 109(3): 213-76, 10 figs.

BOLIN, R. L. 1959. Iniomi (Myctophidae). Report on the Scientific Results of the "Michael Sars" North Atlantic Deep-sea Exped. 1910, 4, part 2, (7): 1-45, 7 figs.

BRIGGS, J. C. 1952. Systematic notes on the oceanic fishes of the genus Lophotus. Copeia, 1952 (3): 206-7, 1 fig.

BULLIS, H. R., and F. J. MATHER. 1956. Tunas of the genus Thunnus of the northern Caribbean. Amer. Mus. Nov., No. 1765: 1-12, 3 figs.

CLARK, E. 1949. Notes on some Hawaiian Plectognath fishes, including a key to the species. Amer. Mus. Nov., (1397): 1-22, 9 figs.

EGE, V. 1954. The genus Stomias Cuv., taxonomy and bio-geography. Dana Report No. 5: 58 pp. 12 figs., 1 pl.

EKMAN, S. 1953. Zoogeography of the sea. Sidgwick and Jackson, London: xiv + 417 pp., 121 figs.

FOWLER, H. W. 1936. The marine fishes of West Africa. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 70: 1-1493 pp., 565 figs.

FOWLER, H. W. 1941. A list of fishes known from the coast of Brazil. Arquivos de Zoologica, Estado de São Paulo, 3(6): 115-84.

FOWLER, H. W. 1944. The results of the fifth George Vanderbilt expedition (1941). Fishes. Acad. Nat. Sci., Phila. Monograph No. 6: 57-529, 268 figs., 20 pls.

FOWLER, H. W. 1949. The fishes of Oceania--supplement 3. Mem. Bishop Mus., 12(2): 37-186.

FRASER-BRUNNER, A. 1949, A classification of the fishes of the family Myctophidae. Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 118: 1019-106, 14 figs., 1 pl.

FRASER-BRUNNER, A. 1950. The fishes of the family Scombridae. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 12, 3(26): 131-63, 35 figs.

FRASER-BRUNNER A. 1951. The ocean sunfishes (family Molidae). Bull. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.): 89-121, 18 figs.

GIBBS, R. H., and B. B. COLLETT. 1959. On the identification, distribution and biology of the dolphins, Coryphaena hippurus and C. equiselis. Bull. Mar. Sci. Gulf and Carib., 9(2): 117-52, 18 figs.

GREY, M. 1955. The fishes of the genus Tetragonurus Risso. Dana-Report No. 41: 1-75, 16 figs.

GREY, M. 1956. The distribution of fishes found below a depth of 2000 meters. Fieldiana: Zoology, 36(2): 75-337.

HAIG, J. 1955. Fishes killed by the 1950 eruption of Mauna Loa III. Sternoptychidae. Pacific Science, 9: 318-23.

HERRE, A. W. 1953. Check list of Philippine fishes. U. S. Fish and Wildl. Serv., Res. Rept. No. 20: 1-977.

HUBBS, C. L., and W. I. FOLLETT. 1953. Information based on a manuscript list of the fishes of California. Fourteenth unpublished edition: 1-65.

JORDAN, D. S., B. W. EVERMANN, and H. W. CLARK. 1930. Check list of the fishes and fishlike vertebrates of North and Middle America north of the northern boundary of Venezuela and Columbia. Rept. U. S. Comm. Fish. For 1928, part 2: 650 pp.

KAMOHARA, T. 1952. Revised descriptions of the offshore bottomfishes of Prov. Tosa, Shikoku, Japan. Rep. Kochi Univ., Nat. Sci., No. 3: 1-122, 100 figs.

KUMADA, T. 1937. Marine fishes of the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Nissan Fisheries Institute and Co., Ltd., Odawara, Japan, pp. 1-75, 102 pls.

MANN, F. G. 1954. La vida dos peces en aguas Chilenas. Universidad de Chile, Santiago: 342 pp., illus.

MAUL, G. E. 1956. Monografia dos peixes do museu municipal do Funchal, ordem Discocephali. Biol. Mus. Mun. Funchal, 9(23): 5-75, 5 figs.

MEAD, G. W. 1957. On the bramid fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Zoologica, 42: 51-61, 3 pls.

MOHR., E. 1937. Revision der Centriscidae (Acanthopterygii Centrisciformes). Dana-Report No. 13; 69 pp., 33 figs., 2 pls.

MUNRO, I. S. R. 1955. The marine and fresh water fishes of Ceylon. Dept. External Affairs, Canberra: xvi + 349 pp., 19 figs., 56 pls.

NORMAN, J. R. 1930. Oceanic fishes and flatfishes collected in 1925-1937. Discovery Reports, 2: 261-370, 4 figs., 1 pl.

PARR, A. E. 1946. The Macrouridae of the western North Atlantic and Central American seas. Bull. Bingham Oceanogr. Coll., 10, Art. 1: 99 pp., 28 figs.

RICKER, K. E. 1959. Mexican shore and pelagic fishes collected from Acapulco to Cape San Lucas during the 1957 cruise of the "Marijean". Mus. Contrib. Inst. Fisheries, Univ. Brit. Col., No. 3: 1-18.

RIVAS, L. R. 1951. A preliminary review of the western North Atlantic fishes of the family Scombridae. Bull. Mar. Sci. Gulf and Carib., 1(3): 209-30.

ROSENBLATT, R. H., and W. J. BALDWIN. 1958. A review of the Eastern Pacific sharks of the genus Carcharchinus, with a redescription of C. malpeloensis Fowler and California records of C. remotus (Duméril). Calif. Fish and Game, 44(2): 137-59, 19 fig.

SMITH, J. L. B. 1949. The sea fishes of southern Africa. Central News Agency, Cape Town: xvi + 550 pp., 1100 figs., 103 pls.

SMITH, J. L. B. 1958. Rare fishes from South Africa. South African Jour. Sci., December, 1958: 319-23, 2 figs.

SNODGRASS, R. E., and E. HELLER. 1905. Papers from the Hopkins-Stanford Galapagos Expedition, 1898-1899. XVII. Shore fishes of the Revillagigedo, Clipperton, Cocos and Galapagos Islands. Proc. Wash. Acad. Sci., 6: 333-427.

DE SYLVA, D. P. H., H. B. STEARNS, and D. C. TABB. 1956. Populations of the black mullet (Mugil cephalus L.) in Florida. Fla. State Bd. Conserv., Tech. Ser., No. 19: 7-45, 10 figs.

TORTONESE, E. 1950. A note on the hammerhead shark, Sphyrna tudes Val., after a study of the types. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 12, 3: 1030-33.


*                 *                 *                 *                 *

Return to Home