• Picture of the Catalog of Fishes volume 1
  • Picture of the Catalog of Fishes volume 2
  • Picture of the Catalog of Fishes volume 3

Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes - version of 6 July 2020 (Continually updated since the early 1980s, around the turn of the month.)

In this edition, we provide 171 new species in 2020. In 2019 there were 351 new species described.

We record 35,562 valid fish species, including 17,940 valid fish species with the tag ‘Habitat: freshwater’.

Updated Apr. 9, 2020 - Authors' Count of Species/Subspecies Descriptions. See how many species/subspecies each author has described. This list was previously posted as a list of "batting averages", comparing total number of species descriptions to number still considered valid. The "batting average" concept was originally conceived by Dr. Eschmeyer for our 2010 paper "Marine fish diversity: history of knowledge and discovery (Pisces)", and was meant to show differences between previous eras and the modern era. It was not meant to be a critique of any individuals, nor a measure of any individual's scientific acumen. The "batting average" concept having served its purpose, it's no longer relevant to present it. In addition, most individuals are only interested in the total number of new descriptions, which is what we present here. - Jon Fong

Family Group Names

We are making additions to:

Van der Laan, R., W. N. Eschmeyer & R. Fricke 2014 (11 Nov.), Family-group names of Recent fishes. Zootaxa Monograph 3882 (1), 1-230. DOI 10.11646/zootaxa.3882.1.1

Download the addenda to the family-group list as a PDF.

See Family Group Names for future updates by R. van der Laan.

Unavailable names

By default, search results will not include item 3 names -- unavailable names that detract from the main list of available names. These are mostly names mentioned in synonymy, names in lists, etc. They are still in the database, so if you want to see them, check the box labeled Include unavailable names before searching.

Citing Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes

Fricke, R., Eschmeyer, W. N. & R. van der Laan (eds) 2020. ESCHMEYER'S CATALOG OF FISHES: GENERA, SPECIES, REFERENCES.(http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp). Electronic version accessed dd mmm 2020.

Fricke, R. (ed) 2020. REFERENCES. (http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp). Electronic version accessed dd mmm 2020. [Ron Fricke devoted much time to improving references and journals, many of which had not been examined in 15 to 25 years. Please remember that the title of a paper often differs in three places: the title on the paper itself, the contents listed by the journal, and in the PDF provided by the journal. Ron tends to follow the title on the pdf for recent papers and the title on the original for earlier publications. Many of our dates of publication are documented for priority purposes. Some current journals have a target date, but actual publication is often delayed. For nomenclatural date problems, we will help if we can.]

van der Laan, R. & Fricke, R. 2020. FAMILY-GROUP NAMES. (http://www.calacademy.org/scientists/catalog-of-fishes-family-group-names/). Electronic version accessed dd mmm 2020.

van der Laan, R., Fricke, R. & Eschmeyer, W. N. (eds) 2020. ESCHMEYER'S CATALOG OF FISHES: CLASSIFICATION. (http://www.calacademy.org/scientists/catalog-of-fishes-classification/).Electronic version accessed dd mmm 2020.

Fricke, R. & Eschmeyer, W. N. 2020. JOURNALS. (http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/journals.asp). Electronic version accessed dd mmm 2020.[Includes all journals appearing in the Catalog, including publication information and ISSN numbers.]

Fricke, R. & Eschmeyer, W. N. 2020. GUIDE TO FISH COLLECTIONS. (http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/collections.asp). Electronic version accessed dd mmm 2020. [Arranged by museum abbreviation and by country, includes type catalogs and historical publications and www sites where available.]

Fricke, R., Eschmeyer, W. N. & Fong, J. D. 2020 SPECIES BY FAMILY/SUBFAMILY. (http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/SpeciesByFamily.asp).Electronic version accessed dd mmm 2020. [Recalculated with each new version; based on current literature, this provides all available species names, valid species, and species described in the last 10 years by family/subfamily.]

Other participants are Dennis Polack (Data Analyst), Nicolas Bailly (Data Analyst), Richard van der Laan (Freshwater Fishes Specialist), Thomas Litz (Aquarium Species/Literature Specialist), and Dan Zimberlin (Data Analyst). Jon Fong prepares the online versions and does other programming tasks.

Please remember that if you got to Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes from Fishbase, you are NOT in Fishbase. Fishbase is a more comprehensive database for a different audience, but they use Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes information in their authority file.

Some other useful sites for fishes are (1) Fishbase [Fishbase team, Manila]; (2) www.stri.org/sftep -- A comprehensive database on Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific (and of the Western Atlantic) [Ross Robertson]; (3) shark-references.com -- A database on elasmobranchs, with over 13,000 references, information on taxa, type specimens, etc. [Jürgen Pollerspöck]; (4) FishWisePro.com -- a comprehensive relational database of more than 99,350 scientific species name combinations and over 34,300 well-identified (mostly marine) fish pictures [Dennis Polack]; (5) Freshwater Fish List, 23rd edition December 2017 by Richard Van der Laan; (6) ETYFish Project (derivations of Fish Names) by Christopher Scharpf; and (7) BioStor, for Biodiversity Heritage Library references. A very useful site is Worldfish.de [not associated with Fishbase or Worldfish]. Maintained by Michal Mikšik and Erwin Schraml. They post new fish taxa and references as they are published.


A summary paper was published in 2010 from Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes database that might be of interest to users of the Catalog. "Marine fish diversity: history of knowledge and discovery (Pisces)." By William N. Eschmeyer, Ronald Fricke, Jon D. Fong & Dennis A. Polack. Zootaxa, no. 2525:19-50 (2 July 2010, open access, click title to download).

About 384 new species were described in 2014. As always, notifying us of missed original descriptions and errors in the database or providing PDFs of recent papers is most welcome.

Bill Eschmeyer edited type localities and standardized many place names. Our style is to use current place names found on an English map (or from Wikipedia and Google sites). Should you need original localities, they can be found in the original descriptions or from particular museum holdings (often online).

Many scientific names of fish species are based on personal names; some were found to be incorrect. For example, Jordan and co-workers spelled Japanese names ending in "a" with a terminal "e" as in matsubarae; that is acceptable, with the name Latinized first. So those names do not end in "i". Remarks are provided by Eschmeyer in this version for most species based on personal names. For a review of this very technical subject, see Dubois 2007: Zootaxa No. 1550:49-68.

New treatment of synonyms: Often an author revises a genus and treats a species in detail but does not mention the species synonyms (if any). If he/she does not mention the synonyms (rather common in recent treatments) and moves the valid “parent” species to a different genus, do we move the synonyms automatically, although the revising author may not have studied or assessed the synonyms? In the past, we did not move the synonyms. Typically, this often resulted in the synonyms being in a different current genus than the valid parent species. We now move the synonyms to the genus of the valid parent species, but no “status reference” showing the new generic placement is found with the synonym. Some synonyms will be moved incorrectly, but it is considered more desirable to have the potential synonyms in the same current genus as the valid parent species.

Some conventions used in Eschmeyer's Catalog

Author plus date and a species code: The code of Zoological Nomenclature does not require a comma between the author and date, only a suggestion. In fact, we consider that confusing as that is traditionally used to show a cited reference in journal publications and not a species authorship and date. Genus+species+author+date (with parentheses as needed) is a (nearly) unique code or formula to define every species [2 known exceptions]. So you will find no comma between the author and date. Some journals are now treating species in this way.

Figures: Under a new species heading, some journals list (a) only the major figure, some list (b) all figures (including maps, habitats and graphs), and (c) some give figures showing the full view and any illustrated parts of the species. We give all figures that show a full view and any anatomical part of the species, so our listing of figures often differs from the treatment by a journal in the original description (as listed in the species heading).

Type localities: We give a current place name that one will find on a Google search or in an “English” atlas. For some species described many years ago, one may find both the original locality and in parentheses a modern name for that locality. Many collections now have their holdings on-line, and it is there one can usually find the actual original locality if needed. Current localities are often augmented by additional information, such as coordinates.

Authors: We have added initials in brackets to distinguish all individual authors of genera and species.

Other sections

Species of Fishes by Family/Subfamily -- Total valid taxa reflect new taxa added minus taxa moved into synonymy plus taxa newly moved to valid. The classification is as used in the Catalog of Fishes. Prepared by Bill Eschmeyer and Jon Fong, with modifications by Richard van der Laan.

Family-Group Names -- Priority applies to Family-group names. It did not in early years. As classifications are refined with use of more subfamilies and tribes, it is required to use the oldest available family-group name for these new taxa.

Ichthyological Collections -- Presented are those specimen collections mentioned in the main Catalog of Fishes database, especially as repositories of type specimens. Besides museum names and abbreviations, this includes WWW sites, cross-referencing of abbreviations, and selection of museums by country, along with type catalogs, historical articles, name changes, transfers, and other items for individual collections. Prepared by Ron Fricke and Bill Eschmeyer.

Ichthyological Journals -- There are nearly 2600 individual journals or monograph series in the Catalog of Fishes database. We provide full citations, and other information such as changes in titles, published duration, ISSN numbers, WWW sites, etc. Prepared by Ron Fricke and Bill Eschmeyer.


Acknowledgments for Ron Fricke (2020): Arturo Acero P., Henry Agudelo-Zamora, Harald Ahnelt, K. V. Akhilesh, Armando Almeida, Ricardo Alvarez-León, Pedro Amorim, Marcelo Andrade, Arturo Angulo, Leandro Araujo Argolo, Juan Carlos Arronte, Muthukumarasamy Arunachalam, Juan Miguel Artigas Azas, Claudio Baigun, Nicolas Bailly, Francisco Baldó, Arcady Balushkin, Clyde Barbour, Ricardo Benine, Maria Bichuette, Alessandro Bifi, José Birindelli, Renan Borges dos Reis, José Carlos Brito, Ralf Britz, Heiko Brunken, Christian Capapé, Emily Capuli, Tiago Pinto Carvalho, Romain Causse, Hasan Cerim, Ning Labbish Chao, Erdogan Çiçek, Kendall Clements, Gabriel Cruz Ruíz, Neelesh Dahanukar, Fabio Di Dario, Omar Domínguez-Domínguez, Du Jianguo, Yury Dyldin, Siegfried Ehrich, Fernando Elloriaga-Verplancken, Marco Endruweit, Deniz Ergüden, Maria Doris Escobar L., Hamid Esmaeili, Héctor Espinosa, Sergei Evseenko, Dario Faustino-Fuster, Juliano Ferrer, Daniel Figueroa, Lloyd Findley, João Eduardo Pereira de Freitas, Augusto Frota, Cyril Gallot, Julio Cesar Garavello, Mehdi Ghanbarifardi, Weferson da Graça, Steven Grant, Ana Fabiola Guzmán, Lorenzo Halasan, Mohamed Eusuf Hasan, Philip Hastings, Samuel Iglésias, Isaäc Isbrücker, Yukio Iwatsuki, Laith Jawad, Howard Jelks, Thodoros Kampouris, Axel Katz, Cüneyt Kaya, Seishi Kimura, Periklis Kleitou, Stefan Koerber, Laishram Kosygin, Philippe Koubbi, Aneesh Kumar, Taiga Kunishima, Thomas Lachenal, Anton Lamboj, Helen Larson, Sébastien Lavoué, Mario La Mesa, Djiman Lederoun, Boris Levin, Fan Li, Thomas Litz, Philip Lobel, Hernán López-Fernández, Milton Love, Nathan Lujan, Diego Luzzatto, Luiz Malabarba, Katemo Manda, Alexandre Marceniuk, Pablo Martín-Sosa, Mizuki Matsunuma, Bruno Melo, Naercio Menezes, Ernst Mikschi, Michael Mincarone, Rafael Miranda, Marcos Mirande, Anil Mohapatra, Glenn Moore, Luis Fernando del Moral Flores, David Morgan, Clóvis da Motta-Neto, Béla Nagy, Muddula Krishna Naranji, Chrysoula Ntislidou, Renildo Ribeiro de Oliveira, Alexey Orlov, Luz Orrego, Felipe Ottoni, Bayram Öztürk, Lawrence Page, Kodeeswaran Paramasivam, Annam Pavan, Tiago Pessali, John Pogonoski, Gianluca Polgar, Jürgen Pollerspöck, Stuart Poss, Kante Prasad, Artem Prokofiev, Francisco Provenzano, Peter Psomadakis, Praveen Raj, Roberto Esser dos Reis, Vinícius Reis, Ross Robertson, V. I. Romanov, Ricardo Rosa, Gorgonio Ruiz-Campos, Barry Russell, Shilpi Saha, Luisa Sarmento-Soares, Christopher Scharpf, Erwin Schraml, Hiroshi Senou, Ilia Shakhovskoy, Boris Sheiko, Brian Sidlauskas, Cárlison Silva-Oliveira, Tamaki Shimose, David Smith, Ronaldo Sousa, Carla Sousa-Santos, Hiranya Sudasinghe, Sho Tanaka, Kisekelwa Tchalondawa, Tulio Teixeira, Amira Touil, Franz Uiblein, Nguyen Quan Van, Ekaterina Vasil'eva, Diego Vaz, Frans Vermeulen, Sarah Viana, Elena Voronina, Emmanuel Vrewen, Gina Walsh, Simon Weigmann, Peter Wirtz, E Zhang, Yahui Zhao, Mikhail Zhukov.

Acknowledgments for Richard van der Laan (2020): Emmanuel Abwe, Erik Åhlander, Carlos Ardila Rodríguez, Muthukumarasamy Arunachalam, Nicolas Bailly, Arcady Balushkin, Pedro Bragança, José Carlos Brito, Marko Ćaleta, Pablo Calviño, David Černý, Sebastián Cona, Kevin Conway, Neelesh Dahanukar, Fabio di Dario, Vahe Demirjian, Gaël Denys, Omar Domínguez-Domínguez, Dario Faustino-Fuster, Antonia Ford, Acacio Freitas, Dan Fromm, Augusto Frota, Babette van Gool, Elaine Heemstra, Jean Huber, Taiki Ito, Axel Katz, Seishi Kimura, Steen Knudsen, Paul van der Laan, Francisco Langeani, Sébastien Lavoué, Mao-Ying Lee, Eliseo Lescún, Thomas Litz, Thiago Silva Loboda, Diego Luzzatto, James Maclaine, Katemo Manda, Mizuki Matsunuma, Michal Mikšík, Anil Mohapatra, Daniel Mokodongan, Peter Møller, Robert Myers, Dirk Neumann, Claudio Oliveira, Renildo de Oliveira, Larry Page, Murilo Pastana, Edson Pereira, Dennis Polack, Jayasimhan Praveenraj, Divya Radhakrishnan, Filipe Rangel-Pereira, Roberto Reis, Ross Robertson, Uwe Römer, Mark Sabaj, David de Santana, Mudjie Santos, Luisa Sarmento-Soares, Chris Scharpf, Erwin Schraml, Hiroshi Senou, Bungdon Shangningam, Priscilla Caroline Silva, Dave Smith, Bill Smith-Vaniz, Gabe Somarriba, John Sullivan, Milton Tan, Kisekelwa Tchalondawa, Tom Trnski, Massimiliano Virgilio, Nathan Vranken, Simon Weigmann, Jouke van der Zee, Dan Zimberlin and Elsbeth Zwart.

Acknowledgments for Bill Eschmeyer (2020): Dave Catania, Mikael Karlsson, Richard van der Laan, John McCosker, Michael Miksik, Dirk Neumann, Rafaela Ota, Larry Page.

Academy Contributors

Curator of Ichthyology, Emeritus

Other Contributors

Ron Fricke, Richard van der Laan.


Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes Online Database
Annotated Checklists of Fishes

This series serves to provide the most up-to-date taxonomic treatment of the families of recent fishes.

Ichthyology at the Academy

The Department of Ichthyology is home to one of the largest and most important collections of fishes in the world, and is designated as one of eight International Centers for Ichthyology in North America. Meet the researchers, explore projects and expeditions, and more.