Fish orders

WFB 232 Ichthyology
Order assignment – due Feb 20
Pick an order of fishes in either Class Cephalaspidomorphi or Class Chondrichthyes and
summarize the following details on NO MORE than one page (see example). This may be easy
with some orders (there may only be a few species in the entire order) or may be very
challenging when there are dozens of families. In the latter case, you need to summarize the
information by finding generalities among the diversity of species in the order.
NOTE: if you use material from any of the resources verbatim, use quotes and cite the source;
review the plagiarism rules on the syllabus.
Name – what does the name mean? (Latin or Greek roots of the name)
Taxonomic status – Superclass, Class, Order, number of families and genera, representative
families (with common names if they exist), familiar or notable genera or species
(common names ) in each family, local species (if any)
Description – general description of body type, unusual characteristics; describe what particular
characters link the species in this order and differentiate them from other orders
Habitat – fresh or salt water, lakes or rivers, deep or shallow
Distribution – summarize the global range of the order
Ecology and life history – foraging mode, unusual species or habitat interactions
Additional details – any unusual or interesting characteristics of this order; any interaction with
humans (harvested, used in aquaria, dangerous, etc.)
Recent research – find and cite a paper that has been written about one or more of the species in
this order
References used – cite the sources you consulted to obtain your information
Suggested resources:
Paxton, J. R. and W. N. Eshmeyer. 1998. Encyclopedia of fishes 2nd ed. Academic Press.
Moyle, P. B. and J. J Cech. 2000. Fishes, an Introduction to Ichthyology. Prentice Hall
Nelson, J. S. 1994. Fishes of the World. 3rd. ed. Wiley and Sons, New York.
Scott, W. B. and E. J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Bull. Fish. Res. Bd.
Can. 184:966pp.
Note: as with all assignments, you will be graded on your grammar, punctuation, and spelling as
well as information content. If you cite references (and you will need to cite for this
assignment), use correct scientific citation format. Examples of book citations are shown above;
an example of a paper citation is shown below.
Beamish, R. J. and T. G. N. 1989. Extinction of a population of anadromous parasitic lamprey,
Lampetra tridentata, upstream of an impassable dam. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 46: 420-425.
WFB 232 Ichthyology
Myxiniformes (Greek myx-, ‘slime’)
Superclass Agnatha – jawless fishes
Class Myxini - hagfishes
Order Myxiniformes
Family Myxinidae
5 genera, ~ 40 species
Description: most primitive vertebrates: degenerate eyes, cartilaginous skeleton, no vertebrae,
no lateral line, jawless, anguilliform shape
gill openings, no paired fins; vestigial caudal fin; 3 pairs of barbels around mouth
isoosmotic (body fluids at same salinity as ocean)
no larval stage (that has been found)
structurally, but not functionally, hermaphroditic
Habitat: Mostly soft bottom habitat
Distribution: marine, temperate zone, intertidal to 5,000 m, mostly 25-1,500 m depths
Ecology and life history: little known of life cycle; produce few, large eggs
scavengers on dead fish; remove flesh with toothed tongue, may slide a knot along their
body to apply pressure on carcass
burrow in soft sediments; often found within fish carcasses
Additional details: Economically important, used for leather and food in Asia
Exude extremely large quantities of slime (“myxin”)
First fossil evidence: Carboniferous, ~340 – 290 MYA
References used:
Bond, C. E. 1996. Biology of Fishes, 2nd. ed. Saunders College Publishing, Fort Worth
Moyle, P. B. and J. J Cech. 2000. Fishes, an Introduction to Ichthyology. Prentice Hall
Paxton, J. R. and W. N. Eschmeyer. 1998. Encyclopedia of fishes 2nd ed. Academic Press.