From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Horsefish)

Pigfishes and horsefishes
Congiopodus torvus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Suborder: Scorpaenoidei
Family: Congiopodidae
T. N. Gill, 1889[1]

see text

Congiopodidae, commonly known as pigfishes, horsefishes and racehorses, is a family of ray-finned fish classified with in the order Scorpaeniformes. These fishes are native to the Southern Hemisphere.


Congiopodidae was first formally recognised as a family by the American biologist Theodore Gill in 1889.[1] The 5th edition of Fishes of the World classifies the family within the suborder Scorpaenoidei which in turn is classified within the order Scorpaeniformes.[2] Other authorities place the Scorpaenoidei within the Perciformes.[3] The monophyly of the Congiopodidae as set out in Fishes of the World is not universally agreed upon. Some authorities classify the genus Perryena in its own subfamily, Perryeninae, in the stonefish family Synanceiidae.[4] The genera Alertichthys and Zanclorhynchus are classified within the family Zanclorhynchidae[5] leaving Congiopodus as the only genus in the monotypic Congiopodidae.[6] The name of the family is based on that of the genus Congiopodus, the derivation of which was not explained by its author, the English naturalist George Perry, but may be a combination of the Greek gongulos, meaning "round", and podus, which means "foot", maybe referring to the roundish pelvic fins of the type species C. percatus (now C. torvus).[7]


Congiopodidae contains the following 4 genera:[2]


Congiopididae is characterised by having no scales on the body and head, although the skin may have a grainy texture. There is one nostril on each side of the relatively long snout[8] with a small mouth.[9] The bill slit is rather small and is located above the base of the pectoral fin and the lateral line is typically well developed. The dorsal fin is continuous, except in Zanclorhynchus, and has between 8 and 21 spines and 8 and 14 soft rays. The anal fin contains between 0 and 3 spines and 5 to 10soft rays. The maximum length is 80 cm (31 in).[8]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Congiopids are found in the Southern Hemisphere where they live on the bottom of shallow temperate and sub-Antarctic seas, at depths of up to 600 metres (2,000 ft).[9]


One Congiopodid, Congiopodus peruvianus, is found in the shallow South American waters. In this species the adult's dorsal fin is relatively shorter than the juvenile's fin, but they all resemble yellow and orange dead tree leaves.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Richard van der Laan; William N. Eschmeyer & Ronald Fricke (2014). "Family-group names of Recent fishes". Zootaxa. 3882 (2): 001–230. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3882.1.1. PMID 25543675.
  2. ^ a b J. S. Nelson; T. C. Grande; M. V. H. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). Wiley. p. 475. ISBN 978-1-118-34233-6.
  3. ^ Ricardo Betancur-R; Edward O. Wiley; Gloria Arratia; et al. (2017). "Phylogenetic classification of bony fishes". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 17 (162): 162. doi:10.1186/s12862-017-0958-3. PMC 5501477. PMID 28683774.
  4. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). "Genera in the family Perryeninae". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  5. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). "Genera in the family Zanclorhynchidae". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  6. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). "Genera in the family Congiopodidae". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  7. ^ Christopher Scharpf & Kenneth J. Lazara, eds. (10 March 2022). "Order Perciformes (Part 10): Suborder Scorpaenoidei: Families Apistidae, Tetrarogidae, Synanceiidae, Aploacrinidae, Perryenidae, Eschmeyeridae, Pataecidae, Gnathanacanthidae, Congiopodidae and Zanclorhynchidae". The ETYFish Project Fish Name Etymology Database. Christopher Scharpf and Kenneth J. Lazara. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  8. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Daniel Pauly, eds. (February 2022). "Family Congiopodidae - Racehorses or pigfishes".
  9. ^ a b Eschmeyer, William N. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 176. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
  10. ^ Betti, F., Daneri, G. (2020). "Leaf-like morphology and behaviour of juvenile horsefish (Congiopodus peruvianus) (Scorpaeniformes: Congiopodidae) from Chilean Patagonia". Mar Biodiv: 49.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)