WFB 232 Ichthyology Matt Larson Batrachoidiformes (Greek bat-, ‘one that walks’ ranchi-, ‘rocky shore’, oid-, ‘like, form’) Taxonomy: Superclass Osteichthyes, boney fishes Class Actinoptergii ray-finned fishes Order Batrchonoidiformes, Toadfish Family Batranchoididae,1 family, 4 subfamilies Subfamilies: Batrachoidinae Porichthyinae Thalaaophryninae Halophryninae 32 genera, 96 species Notable species: Oyster toadfish (Opsanus, tau) Smooth toadfish (Tetractenos, glaber) Common toadfish (Tetractenos hamiltoni) Description: “usually scaleless, Head large with eyes more dorsal than lateral; mouth large and bordered by premaxilla and maxilla, pelvic fins jugular, with ones spine and two or three soft rays, three pairs of gills, swim bladder present, no ribs,” (Neslon 1994) Habitat: Benthic, Mostly marine, but some species are found in Freshwater Distribution: Off the coasts of Americas, Africa, Europe, southern Asia and Australia, and the Amazon River Ecology and life history: Toadfishes are mainly in the benthic area, they hide on the bottom and wait for their prey to wander close enough to attack, their diet includes mainly small fish or small crustaceans, some toadfishes can make sounds with their swim bladder by contracting various muscles, these sounds are reported to be like grunts and hoots, most species reproduce sexually and spawn a various times of the year Additional details: Many species of this order are poisonous, this is due to the large amount of tetrodoxin, which is fatal when consumed, some species within the Thalassophryninae family have two dorsal spines and a hollow opercular spine in which venom from a glands can be secreted, the fourth subfamily, Halophryninae, was just recently added to the Batrachoidiformes order in 2008 Recent Research – Greenfield, D. W., R. Winterbottom, B. B. Collette. 2008. Review of the Toadfish Genera (Teleostei: Batrarchoididae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 15:665710 References used: Bond, C. E. 1996. Biology of Fishes, 2nd. ed. Saunders College Publishing, Fort Worth Johnson, G. D. and E. O. Wiley. 2007. Percomorpha. The Tree of Life Web Project. Available: http://tolweb.org/Percomorpha/52146. (March 2013) Nelson, J. S. 1994. Fishes of the World. 3rd. ed. Wiley and Sons, New York.