Deecriptions of the Genera of Gadoid and Brotuloid Fishes of Western North America

Theodore Gill
1863 Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia  
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Yet the latter were described, and one figured by Storer, with " a single barbel," " the upper jaw slightly longer than the lower," and the dorsal commencing " on a line above the anterior half of the poctorals." Until it is demonstrated, or rendered nearly certain, that no species exhibiting the characters in a normal condition mentioned by Lesueur exists on our coast, it is not allowable to so apply his name, and, consequently, a new one is required for the Bros?iiiusflavescens of Storer. BROSMIUS BROSME White. Gadus brosme Fab., quasi Miill. Brosmius vulgaris Reinh., quasi Cur. Brosmius brosme pt. Gill, Cat. Hab.-Greenland. I only know this species as a Greenland fish through the works of Fabricius and Reinhardt. BROSMIUS AM1ERICANuS Gill. Brosmius vulgaris Storer, Rep., 136. Brosmius vulgaris ? Dekay, p. 289, (not fig.) Brosmius flavescens. Storer, Syn., 221. Brosmius brosme pt. Gill, Cat., 49. Hab.-New England coast northwards to Newfoundland. BRzosy.Ius FLAVESCENS Les. Le Brosme jaune Les., Mem. Mus., v. p. 158, pl. 16, (mid. fig.) 1819. Brosmius flavesny " " "' " " Brosmius flavescens Guither, iv. 369. Hab.-Massachusetts and banks of Newfoundland. The object of the present article is more especially to give the characters of the genus Gadus as recently restricted, to develope the characteristics and unravel the synonymy of the genus Merlucius, concerning whichl, and particularly the Californian representatives, considerable confusion exists, and to elucidate the genus Brossnophycis. I am disposed to believe that Gunther is correct in separating from the family of Gadoids the group of genera which he has called B] otitlinia, but it is more than questionable whether he is right in referring to, and combining in, the same family his groups Ophiidina, Fibrasferina, Ammodyltina and Congrogadina. It is quite true that Dr. Gunther has been unable to find any one character to separate his families Gadida and Ophidiid&, and that he has entirely based them on the different combinations of characters, but it is at the same time probable that they will be eventually found to be distinguishable by true family characters, based on anatomical differenices, such as the form of the cranium, maxillary bones, intestinal canal, &c. The distinctive characters which GUnther Las employed for his families are the following: GADID2E with " ventral fins composed of several rays, or, if they are reduced to a filament, the dorsal is divided into two. Either the caudal free [Sept. NATURAL SCIENCES OF PHILADELPHIA 243 from the dorsal and anal, or, if the vertical fins are united with the dorsal, with a separate anterior portion. Rays of the second dorsal well developed." OPHIDIID2A with " ventral fins rudimentary (reduced to a filament), or absent, jugular.* No separate anterior dorsal. Caudal generally united with dorsal and anal." From the Gadoids I am disposed to separate the genera Raniceps of Cuvier and Bregmaceros of Thompson, the former of which has been already considered by Dr. Parnellt as the type of an independent family,-and to similar rank, the latter is probablv likewise entitled. The only diagnosis, then, which I am at present prepared to give, is the following. I trust soon to be able to examine the skeletons of most of the types, when more definite characters can doubtless be given. Only part of the synonymy of the family is given. Family GAD OIDJJ (Cuv.) Synonymy. Elongated fishes behind more or less compressed and conoidal, tapering into the caudal fin, the peduncle convex at its end; anus in advance of the middle of the body; the scales cycloid, smooth and small; very wide branchial apertures, extending far forwards; rays of all the fins articulated or branched, extending along most of the back and forming one, two, or three fins; anal single or double, vertical fins rarely united, and the ventral fins more or less in advance of the pectoral, normally attached to the pubic bones, narrow, and with three to seven branched rays; rarely represented by articulated bifid filaments. Pyloric caeca generally numerous. The Californian representatives of the family belong to two distinct subfamilies and genera, which may be distinguished as follows: I. Ventral fins well developed, with five to seven rays. Pyloric ceca numerous. a. Dorsal fins two; the posterior sinuated, or emarginated behind the middle; ainal similar to the second dorsal. Skull with the great frontal bone double, concave towards the middle and between the ridges on each bone diverging from the cor-