Scientific Names For Fish

Every living organism on earth has a “scientific” or taxonomic name, a method of identifying it. People, for circumstances, are recognized as Humankind, (Homo = man, human; sapiens = wise). Scientific names are normally obtained from Latin or Greek and have two components, a genus and also species. The genus is usually a noun, with the initially letter capitalized. The species is frequently an adjective and also is all reduced case. This two-part naming system, known as binomial nomenclature, was created by Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus in the 1700’s and is still offered this day.

You watching: Scientific names for fish

Fish in the same genus are thneed to have developed from a solitary ancestor, and therefore have many type of anatomical characteristics in prevalent. They are more very closely concerned each other than to other species. As researchers learn more about various species, particularly in current years via DNA evaluation and also other approaches, they periodically change the genus and/or species. This is happening more generally with aquarium fish such as cichlids from the Afrihave the right to Rift Lakes, especially Lake Malawi, and recently uncovered cyprinid fish from Myanmar (previously Burma) and also China.

Why carry out we require clinical names? For aquarists, scientific names allow civilization from everywhere the human being to talk about a certain species of fish without any confusion. This is necessary bereason a fish have the right to go by different common names in different parts of the people, or also various regions of the same country. For instance, relying on where you live, the names anemonefish, widespread clownfish, clvery own anemone fish, false percula clownfish, “Nemo” fish, western clownfish and ocellaris clownfish all refer to Amphiprion ocellarus. Given that tright here are cshed to 30 various species of clownfish, with countless look-alikes, you deserve to see why tright here demands to be a means to recognize the exact fish in question.

See more: Pre Ap Biology Curriculum

Also, the very same prevalent name deserve to refer to various species in different places. In the United States and also Canada, the name “perch” refers to Perca flavescens, the lake perch. However before, in Europe, perch are Perca fluviatilis, a much bigger species than its North American cousin. And in parts of western Asia, perch are Perca schrenkii, which are comparable in size to the European species. Three different species of fish, all recognized as perch in their corresponding regions.

Scientific names deserve to be advantageous to aquarists in various other ways. If you’re familiar via one species within a genus and also you enrespond to an additional member of that genus or one you’ve never before heard of, by discovering that the two fish are closely associated, you can get an principle of the new fish’s potential dimension, personality and dietary needs. This deserve to be helpful in determining what dimension aquarium it will need, what various other kinds of fish it gets in addition to, what it eats and also exactly how to breed it.

Many kind of words we use eextremely day have actually their roots in Latin or Greek and also have actually occurred throughout history to their contemporary meanings. This is recognized as etymology. It can be fun – and also amazing – to trace the roots of scientific names for fish. For example, species names that finish in “ensis” indicate that they come from the area via that name, such as canadensis or brasiliensis. Those that finish in “i” or “ae” are named after a person; generally, “i” suggests a guy, while “ae” is for a womale. You don’t have to learn Latin or Greek, just end up being familiar with specific vital words, to number out what many type of fishes’ names intend. Here are some examples:

White Cloud Mountain Minnow – Tanichthys albonubes


Tan = called after Tan Kan Fei, who initially accumulated it ichthys = Greek for “fish”


albo = Latin for “white”nubes = Latin for “cloud”

Neon Tetra – Paracheirodon innesi


para = related to cheirodon = the name of a comparable genus


called after Amerihave the right to aquarist and publisher William T. Innes

Red Hump Geophagus – Geophagus steindachneri


geo = Old Greek for “earth”phagus = Ancient Greek for “to eat”


called after the Austrian biologist Franz Steindachner

Tiger Barb – Puntigrus tetrazona


punti = from the Bengali word “pungti” for tiny cyprinid fish tigrus = a recommendation to the vertical bars that resemble a tiger’s stripes


tetra = Old Greek for “four” zona = Old Greek for “zones”, or dark bands

Bronze Cory Catfish – Corydoras aeneus


cory = from the Old Greek “korus”, meaning helmet doras = from the Ancient Greek “dora”, interpretation skin or hide of an animal


Latin, definition “of bronze”, referring to this fish’s color

Hypostomus (Plecostomus) species

Hypo = underneath

stomus = mouth

Here are some various other clues:

multi = many kind of australis = southern macro = huge, significant borealis = north micro = tiny, tiny pseuperform = false fasciatus = stripe, line cephalus = head striatus = striped caudo = tail linneatus = lined, striped pinnus = fin maculatus = spotted longi = long punctatus = spotted, dotted brevi = brief pulcher = beautiful, pretty rostrum = nose, beak

Look up the clinical names of your favorite fish and view if you have the right to number out what they suppose and also what other species they’re associated too!