List of prehistoric bony fish genera

This List of prehistoric bony fish is an attempt to create a comprehensive listing of all genera from the fossil record that have ever been considered to be bony fish (class osteichthyes), excluding purely vernacular terms. The list includes all commonly accepted genera, but also genera that are now considered invalid, doubtful (nomina dubia), or were not formally published (nomina nuda), as well as junior synonyms of more established names, and genera that are no longer considered members of osteichthyes.

This list includes 1,386 generic names.

Leedsichthys, a giant Jurassic pachycormid

Naming conventions and terminology

Naming conventions and terminology follow the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Technical terms used include:

  • Junior synonym: A name which describes the same taxon as a previously published name. If two or more genera are formally designated and the type specimens are later assigned to the same genus, the first to be published (in chronological order) is the senior synonym, and all other instances are junior synonyms. Senior synonyms are generally used, except by special decision of the ICZN, but junior synonyms cannot be used again, even if deprecated. Junior synonymy is often subjective, unless the genera described were both based on the same type specimen.
  • Nomen nudum (Latin for "naked name"): A name that has appeared in print but has not yet been formally published by the standards of the ICZN. Nomina nuda (the plural form) are invalid, and are therefore not italicized as a proper generic name would be. If the name is later formally published, that name is no longer a nomen nudum and will be italicized on this list. Often, the formally published name will differ from any nomina nuda that describe the same specimen.
  • Nomen oblitum (Latin for "forgotten name"): A name that has not been used in the scientific community for more than fifty years after its original proposal.
  • Preoccupied name: A name that is formally published, but which has already been used for another taxon. This second use is invalid (as are all subsequent uses) and the name must be replaced. As preoccupied names are not valid generic names, they will also go unitalicized on this list.
  • Nomen dubium (Latin for "dubious name"): A name describing a fossil with no unique diagnostic features. As this can be an extremely subjective and controversial designation, this term is not used on this list.


Aetheodontus besanensis
Aetheodontus besanensis
Aipichthys velifer 01
Aipichthys velifer
Amyzon aggregatum 01
Amyzon aggregatum
Anaethalion knorri cm5079
Anaethalion knorri



Caturus velifer
Caturus velifer
Cyranorhis bergeraci
Cyranorhis bergeraci
Ceratoscopelus maderensis
The lantern fish Ceratoscopelus maderensis is a modern representative of a prehistoric genus


Dapedium politum
Dapedium politum specimen from Oxford University Museum of Natural History


Eosalmo sp 1
Eosalmo sp.


Furo longiserratus cm4719
Furo longiserratus




Hemerocoetes monopterygius (Opalfish)
The Opalfish is a modern species of the genus Hemerocoetes (H. monopterygius)





Lycoptera davidi 01
Fossil of Lycoptera davidi.


Mioplosus labracoides 01
Mioplosus labracoides
Mesturus fossil


Nursallia cf N Gutturosum
Nursallia Gutturosum


Obaichthys decoratus
Obaichthys decoratus


Panderichthys BW
Reconstruction of Panderichthys
Pseudophycis breviuscula (Northern bastard codling)
The northern bastard codling, a modern species of Pseudophycis (P. breviuscula).
Holotype rostrum of Protosphyraena nitida, a successful genus of middle Cretaceous swordfish (from Hay, 1903).
Prosopium cylindraceum
The round whitefish, a modern species of Prosopium (P. cylindraceum)
Pontinus nematophthalmus
An example of a modern Pontinus species (P. nematophthalmus)



Rhabdofario lacustris 01b
Rhabdofario lacustris



Thoracopterus magnificus
Thoracopterus magnificus






  • Yungkangichthys


Tanglake ugglan
Zoarces viviparus is a modern species of the genus Zoarces

See also


  1. ^ Friedman, Matt (08/10/2007). "Styloichthys as the oldest coelacanth: implications for early osteichthyan interrelationships" (– Scholar search). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 5 (3): 289–343. doi:10.1017/S1477201907002052. Retrieved 2007-12-28. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Edward B. Daeschler, Neil H. Shubin and Farish A. Jenkins, Jr (6 April 2006). "A Devonian tetrapod-like fish and the evolution of the tetrapod body plan". Nature. 440 (7085): 757–763. doi:10.1038/nature04639. PMID 16598249.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

Uncited genera can be attributed to the following:

External links


Cyclopoma is an extinct genus of perch-like fishes belonging to the family Serranidae.


Eosalmo is a genus of extinct salmon which lived during the Eocene epoch.The genus was first described in 1977 from fossils found in lacustrine deposits in Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park, near Smithers, British Columbia, Canada, leading to the specific epithet E. driftwoodensis. Fossils from this genus have also been found at sites in Princeton, British Columbia, the McAbee Fossil Beds in B.C., and Republic, Washington, USA.When first described the genus was thought to be intermediate in form to the living salmon subfamilies Salmoninae (trout and salmon) and Thymallinae (graylings). More recent review of the genus has placed Eosalmo as the most primitive member of the Salmoninae subfamily. Fossils found in Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park display a full range of individuals from young juveniles through adults. This range indicates that the genus was completely freshwater dwelling and did not spend time in saltwater.


Phyllodus is an extinct genus of bony fish from the Eocene of London Clay.


Scatophagus is a fish genus in the family Scatophagidae. Species in this genus are referred as spotted scats.

They are small fish native to the Indian and western Pacific Oceans that have been popular in the aquarium trade in the last 30 years. Although juvenile scats may live in a freshwater environment, most adult scats prefer a brackish water environment. However, the African scat, Scatophagus tetracanthus, can and does live in fresh water in the wild. The largest species reaches 38 cm in length and some have been known to live more than 20 years in captivity given the proper water conditions. They are scavengers, feeding on algae and feces, hence their name, from Greek skatos meaning "feces" and phagein meaning "eat".


Sphyraenodus is an extinct genus of prehistoric bony fish.

Jawless fish
Jawed fish


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