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Nomeidae
DRIFTFISHES
Man-of-war-fishes

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Overview
Main identification features
  • eye with fatty ring
  • dorsal fin deeply notched
  • 1st dorsal fin and pelvic - groove at base
  • flank: mucus canal system
  • c: forked
FAMILY NOMEIDAE

DRIFTFISHES, FATHEADS, MAN-OF-WAR-FISHES

General features include an oval to elongate, laterally compressed body; a dorsal fin that is deeply notched or divided into separate portions, (with IX-XII slender spines in the first part and 0-III in the second) and has the longest spine at least equal in height to the longest soft dorsal ray; and the second dorsal and anal fin bases of equal length. Both the first dorsal and pelvic fins fold into grooves at their bases.

This family is generally not associated with reefs or inshore habitats, rather adults are inhabitants of the high seas or on the bottom in deep water on the outer continental shelf. However, juveniles are found swimming alongside or among the tentacles of pelagic coelenterates (jellyfish and siphonophores) near reef areas. Evidently they use the protection of their host (in much the same fashion as reef dwelling anemonefishes of the Indo-W. Pacific) until large enough to fend for themselves.

Distribution is worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas. The family, contains three genera and about 15 species; in our area there are six species in three genera, four with worldwide distributions, and two endemics. The group was reviewed by Haedrich (1972).


References
  • Ahlstrom , E. H. , Butler , J. L..and Sumida, B. Y., 1976., Pelagic stromateoid fishes (Pisces, Perciformes) of the eastern Pacific: Kinds, distributions and early life histories and observations on five of these from the northwest Atlantic., Bull. Mar. Sci., 26:285-402.
  • Allen , G.R. and Robertson, D.R., 1994., Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific., Crawford House Press Pty Ltd:1-332.
  • Butler, J.L., 1979., The nomeid genus Cubiceps (Pisces) with a description of a new species., Bull. Mar. Sci., 29:226-241.
  • Béarez, P., 1996., Lista de los Peces Marinos del Ecuador Continental., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 44:731-741.
  • Chirichigno, N., 1978., Nuevas adiciones a la ictiofauna marina del Peru., Instituto del Mar del Peru, Informe., 46:1-109.
  • Cuvier , G. and Valenciennes, A., 1833., Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome neuvième. Suite du livre neuvième. Des Scombéroïdes., Histoire Naturelle Des Poissons, 9:1-512.
  • Eschmeyer , W. N. , Herald , E. S. and Hamman, H., 1983., A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California. Peterson Field Guide Ser. 28., Houghton Mifflin:336pp.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen III. Vertebrados - Parte 2., FAO3:1201-1813.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., Pérez-España, H., Chávez-Ramos, H., 1996., Systematics list of the fishes from Cerralvo island, Baja California Sur, Mexico., Ciencias Marinas, 22:295-311.
  • Gmelin, J. F., 1789., Caroli a Linné ... Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species; cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio decimo tertia, aucta, reformata. 3 vols. in 9 parts. Lipsiae, 1788-93., Systema Naturae Linné, 1:1033-1516.
  • Grove , J.S. and Lavenberg, R. J., 1997., The fishes of the Galápagos islands., Stanford University Press:863 pp.
  • Günther, A., 1872., On some new species of reptiles and fishes collected by J. Brenchley, Esq., Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (Ser. 4), 10:418-426.
  • Günther, A., 1889., Report on the pelagic fishes collected by H. M. S. Challenger during the years 1873-76., Rep. Sci. Res. Voy. H.M.S. Challenger, 31:1-47.
  • Haedrich, R.L., 1967., The stromateoid fishes; systematics and a classification., Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard, 135(2):31-139.
  • Haedrich, R.L., 1970., A new species in the nomeid fish genus Psenes from the equatorial eastern Pacific., Breviora, 351:1-7.
  • Hunter, J. R. and Mitchell, C. T., 1966., Association of fishes with flotsam in the offshore waters of Central America., Fishery Bulletin, 66:13-29.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Kendall , W.C. and Radcliffe, L., 1912., The shore fishes. Reports on the scientific results of the expedition to the eastern tropical Pacific, ... by the U.S. Fish Commission steamer ALBATROSS, from October, 1904, to March, 1905, Lieut. Commander L.M. Garret, U.S.N., Commanding. XXV., Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., 35(3):75-171.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Lütken,., 1880., Spolia Atlantica. Bidrag til Kundskab om Formforandringer hos Fiske under deres Vaext og Udvikling, saerligt hos nogle af Atlanterhavets Ho{/jso{/fiske., Dansk. Vid. Selsk. Skrift. Kjo{/benhavn (Ser. 5), 12:409-613.
  • Meek , S.E. and Hildebrand, S.F., 1925., The marine fishes of Panama. Part II., Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. Publ., XV:331-707.
  • Nelson, J.S., 1984., Fishes of the World (Third edition)., John Wiley and Sons:523pp.
  • Van der Heiden , A. M. and Findley, L. T., 1988., Lista de los peces marinos del sur de Sinaloa, México., Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia de la Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico, 15:209-224.

Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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