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Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum



Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum



Unknown



Like several of the Catalogues published by the Trustees of the British Museum, the present work contains descriptions not only of the species represented in the British Museum, but also of those known to exist in other collections; that is to say, it forms a complete handbook of Ichthyology, in which all the species known are described and systematically arranged. During the last thirty years the number of species has been so much increased, that without such a handbook their determination has become a matter of great difficulty and uncertainty. Besides, with the increase of our knowledge, the growing defects of the system proposed by Cuvier and Muller have become apparent, rendering necessary a further subdivision of the families and a revision of the genera. Such a work could not be successfully undertaken without the aid of the richest collection of materials combined with a library in which scarcely any publication referring to the subject is wanting. Of course the author has been obliged to leave many doubtful points in the state in which he found them, whenever, in fact, his materials did not enable him critically to examine and complete the insufficient descriptions of previous authors; indeed, in such an extensive work it could not but be expected that errors should occur which might have been avoided; but on the whole it is already apparent that his work is as useful to Ichthyologists generally as it has been beneficial to the collection on which it was based. Up to the present time five volumes have been published: the first three, issued in the years 1859-61, are taken up with the Acanthopterygians, of which 3481 species are known; 2811 of them are considered to be well characterized and described, the remainder being merely quoted as forms which require further confirmation. In Cuvier and Valenciennes's "Histoire Naturelle des Poissons," the last published general ichthyological work, only 2146 species of this order are enumerated, and about 600 of these are considered by Dr. Gunther to have been nominal species. To the third volume he has added a systematic synopsis of the families of this order, showing his views as to their natural affinities. It is intended to illustrate this portion of the work with a series of plates, the execution of which has been commenced, but which will be published at a later period. The fourth volume, published in 1862, contains the Acanthopterygii Pharyngognathi and Anacanthini, these two orders comprising 1090 species, of which 890 are well characterized. The fifth volume, published in 1864, falls within the limits of this Record, and commences the order of Physostomi, containing the families of Siluridae, Characinidae, Haplochitonidae, Sternoptychida, Scopelida, and Stomiatidae. 1005 species are enumerated against 492 of Cuvier and Valenciennes's "Histoire Naturelle des Poissons"; 849 are considered to be well characterized, a considerable portion of them being described for the first time. This is the second family treated of in the fifth volume of Dr. Gunther's Catalogue of Fishes. It is adopted with the same limits which were assigned to it by Muller and Troschel. The number of generic and specific forms, however, has been much increased since the time of the publication of the "Horae Ichthyologicae," especially through the labours of Valenciennes and Kner. Dr. Gunther has also been able to make numerous additions to the knowledge of this family, as will be seen from the following systematic synopsis:- First group: ERYTHRININA. 1. Macrodon (M. & Tr.) with 9 species, five of which are doubtful Two have been described as new: M. intermedius and M. microlepis (p. 282). 2. Erythrinus (Gronov.) with 7 species, two of which are new: E. longipinnis and E. brevicauda (p. 285). 3. Lebiasina (C. & V.) with 1 species. 4. Pyrrhulina (C. & V.) with 1 species. 5. Corynopoma (Gthr.) with 4 species. Second group: CURIMATINA. 6. Curimatus (Gthr.) with 15 species, four of which are new: C. spilurus (p. 288); C. troschelii (p. 290); C. essequibensis (p. 291); C. schomburgkii (p. 291). 7. Prochilodus (Agass.) with 12 species, two of which are new: P. humeralis (p. 294) and P. oligolepis (p. 295). 8. Caenotropus (Gthr.)= Chilodus (M. & Tr.) with 2 species. 9. Hemiodus (M. & Tr.) with 9 species, two of which are new: H. microcephalus (p. 298) and H. gracilis (p. 299). 10. Saccodon (Kner) with 1 species. 11. Parodon (C. & V.) with 2 species. Third group: CITHARININA. 12. Citharinus (M. & T.) with 2 species. Fourth group: ANOSTOMATINA. 13. Anostomus (Gronov.) with. 8 species. 14. Rhytiodus (Kner) with 2 species. 15. Leporinus (Spix) with 15 species, four of which are new: L. megalepis (p. 307); L. affinis (p. 308); L. margaritaceus (p. 309); L. melanopleura (p. 310). Fifth group: Tetragonopterina. 16. Piabucina (C. & V.) with 2 species, P. unitaeniata being new (p. 311). 17. Aletstes (Gthr.) with 4 species. 18. Brachyalestes (g. n.) with 6 species. Myletes nurse (Rupp.) is the type; two species are new: B. ruppellii from the Upper Nile (p. 315) and B. longipinnis from West Africa (p. 315). 19. Tetragonopterus (Cuv.) with 39 species, the following of which are new: T. compressus (p. 819); T. polylepis (p, 820); T. brevirostris (p. 321); T. microstoma (p. 323); T. microphthalmus (p. 324); T. panamensis (p. 324); T. brevimanus (p. 325); T. petenensis (p. 326); T. humilis (p. 327); T.oligolepis (p. 327); T. chrysargyreus (p. 328); T. affinis (p. 329); T. caudomaculatus and T. potyodon (p. 330). 20. Scissor (g. n.): Sc. macrocephalus, sp. n., probably from Surinam (p. 331). 21. Pseudochalceus (Kner) with 1 species. 22. Chirodon (Girard) with 2 species. 23. Chalceus (Cuv.) with 1 species. 24. Brycon (M. & Tr.) with 14 species, four of which are new: B. nattereri and B. bahiensis (p. 334); B. orthotaenia and B. brevicauda (p. 335). 25. Chalcinopsis (Kner) with 4 species. 26. Bryconops (Kner) with 2 species. 27. Crengrutus (g. n.); type, Leporinus mulleri (Gthr.). 28.

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