Family Melanocetidae - Black Seadevils
  Order
:
  Class
:
Actinopterygii
No. in FishBase
:
Genera : 1 | Species : 6 Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes
  Environment
:
Fresh : No | Brackish : No | Marine : Yes
  Division
:
Marine
  Aquarium
:
none
  First Fossil Record
:
     
  Remark
:
Distribution: Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific. (Ref. 7463) All oceans. (Ref. 86949) Distinguishing character: Arrangement of unpaired fins, in all members of this family, notably having dorsal fin rays exceeding three times the number of anal-fin rays. Females with short, globose body and large pendulous belly (indicating its capacity to take in considerably large prey, exceeding its body size). Large, well-toothed, dorsally-directed mouth, opening almost vertically. Smooth, rounded head lacking sphenotic spines; quadrate, articular, and preopercular spines also lacking. Esca comparatively simple, almost always bearing laterally compressed anterior and posterior crests with no filaments or appendages. Natural coloration is velvety black but specimens easily turn deep brownish red (even orange) in preserving fluids and the effect of photochemical bleaching. Although skin may appear naked and smooth, microscopic, widely-spaced dermal spinules are present in some specimens. Well-developed eyes in metamorphosed males, laterally directed and elliptically shaped with the pupil larger than the lens. Large olfactory organs with inflated, laterally-directed nostrils. Lacking jaw teeth. Upper denticulars with 2 - 3 semicircular series of strong recurved denticular teeth, fused with a median series of 3 - 9 enlarged dermal spines that is joint with the illicial pterygiophore. Lower denticulars with 10 - 23 recurved denticles, fused into 1 median and 2 lateral groups. Males free-living, never parasitic; 2 known males in temporary attachment to females. Larvae with short, spherical body; skin moderately inflated; normal sized pectoral fins, not exceeding the length of dorsal and anal fins; and useful in identification is the unpaired fin-ray counts which is consistent with the adults of both genders. Sexual dimorphism evident in all stages; females possessing a small, club-shaped illicial rudiment projecting from the head. Metamorphosis starts at 0.8 - 1.0 cm length. Fin ray counts: 15 to 23 pectoral-fin rays; and 9 (1 simple + 6 bifurcated + 2 simple) caudal-fin rays. Largest recorded female at 13.5 cm and largest recorded metamorphosed male at 2.8 cm, both M. johnsonii (the holotype of Xenoceratias micracanthus in the latter). (Ref. 86949) Comments: Dorsal fin rays rarely 12 or 17; anal-fin rays rarely 3 or 5. (Ref. 86949)
  Etymology
:
Greek, 'melas' or 'melanos' = black + Greek, 'ketos' = any large sea creature, more often referring to a whale (Ref. 86949).
  Reproductive guild
:
nonguarders
  Typical activity level
:
  Main Ref
:
  Coordinator
:
  Deep Fin Classification
:
Osteichthyes | Actinopterygii | Actinopteri | Neopterygii | Teleostei | Osteoglossocephalai | Clupeocephala | Euteleosteomorpha | Neoteleostei | Eurypterygia | Ctenosquamata | Acanthomorphata | Euacanthomorphacea | Percomorphaceae | Percomorpharia | Lophiiformes | Ceratioidei | Melanocetidae

Show species images | Show valid names | Nominal species list | Identification keys | CAS specimen photos | References

 
Ref.
[ e.g. 9948]
Glossary
[ e.g. cephalopods]


Species/Synonymy list for the family Melanocetidae as currently in FishBase

Important recommendation:

The list below must not be used as an authority reference synonymy list like those found in scientific published revisions, which must be the source to be used and cited eventually when they exist.

Rather, it reflects the current content of FishBase, and the progress with respect to synchronization with the Catalog of Fishes. However, we think it can be useful for users to assess the quality of information in FishBase, to start new work on the family, or to cross-check with other lists.

But we appreciate to be cited in publications when this list has been of any working value. In particular, for published scientific, we suggest then to cite it in the Material and Method section as a useful tool to conduct the research, but again, not as a taxonomic or nomenclatural authority reference.

Unless it is explicitly precised, the list is not complete, please search all original names published for the family in the Catalog of Fishes (genera, species), including those with uncertain or unknown status, that are not included in FishBase when they are not attached to a valid species.

This list uses some data from Catalog of Fishes (not shown but used to sort names).

In the column CofF, the digit indicates the status of synchronization with CofF: 0: Not checked; 1: Same status;   2: Different status;   3: Other combination;   4: Synonym in CofF;   5: Species/Subspecies issue;   6: Synonym of another species in CofF;   7: Not in CofF;   8: Should not be in CofF. The CofF version currently used is the one published on 15-11-2013 (Ref. 94485).

The list ordered as follows:

Please send comments and corrections if you detect errors or missing names.

Show all | Show only accepted name | Show only accepted and original names
Scientifc name Status Senior/Junior synonym Combination CofF
Melanocetus johnsonii Günther, 1864
acceptedseniororiginal1
! Melanocetus johnsoni Günther, 1864
synonymseniororiginal
Melanocetus krechi Brauer, 1902
synonymjuniororiginal1
Melanocetus rotundatus Gilchrist, 1903
synonymjuniororiginal1
! Melanocoetus rotundatus Gilchrist, 1903
synonymjuniororiginal
Melanocetus ferox Regan, 1926
synonymjuniororiginal1
Xenoceratias micracanthus Regan & Trewavas, 1932
synonymjuniororiginal1
Xenoceratias laevis Regan & Trewavas, 1932
synonymjuniororiginal1
Xenoceratias heterorhynchus Regan & Trewavas, 1932
synonymjuniororiginal1
Centrocetus spinulosus Regan & Trewavas, 1932
synonymjuniororiginal1
Melanocetus cirrifer Regan & Trewavas, 1932
synonymjuniororiginal1
Xenoceratias brevirostris Regan & Trewavas, 1932
synonymjuniororiginal1
Xenoceratias braueri Koefoed, 1944
synonymjuniororiginal1
Melanocetus megalodontis Beebe & Crane, 1947
synonymjuniororiginal1
Melanocetus murrayi Günther, 1887
acceptedseniororiginal1
Melanocetus vorax Brauer, 1902
synonymjuniororiginal1
synonymjuniororiginal1
synonymjuniororiginal1
synonymjuniornew
synonymjuniororiginal1
synonymjuniororiginal
synonymjuniornew
synonymjuniororiginal1
synonymjuniornew
Xenoceratias regani Koefoed, 1944
synonymjuniororiginal1
Melanocetus johnsoni (non Günther, 1864)
misappliedmisappliedmisapplied
Melanocetus niger (non Regan, 1925)
misappliedmisappliedmisapplied
Melanocetus niger Regan, 1925
acceptedseniororiginal1
acceptedseniororiginal2
Melanocetus eustalus Pietsch & Van Duzer, 1980
acceptedseniororiginal1
Melanocetus rossi Balushkin & Fedorov, 1981
acceptedseniororiginal1
php script by celloran, 04/03/10, last modified by cmilitante, 29/11/12