T. N. Gill, 1861
The viviparous brotulas form a family, the Bythitidae, of ophidiiform fishes. They are known as viviparous brotulas as they generally bear live young, although there are indications that some species (at least Didymothallus criniceps) do not. They are generally infrequently seen, somewhat tadpole-like in overall shape and mostly about 5–10 cm (2–4 in) in length, but some species grow far larger and may surpass 60 cm (2 ft).
Although many live near the coast in tropical or subtropical oceans, there are also species in deep water and cold oceans, for example Bythites. Thermichthys hollisi, which lives at depths of around 2,500 m (8,200 ft), is associated with thermal vents. A few are fresh or brackish water cavefish: the Mexican blind brotula (Typhliasina pearsei), Galapagos cuskeel (Ogilbia galapagosensis), Diancistrus typhlops and some Lucifuga species.
Since 2002, more than 110 new species have been added to this family. In 2005, 26 new species were described in a single paper by Danish and German scientists and in 2007, an additional eight new genera with 20 new species were described in another paper by the same scientists.
In some classifications the family Aphyonidae is placed within the Bythitidae and the tribe Dinematichthyini of the subfamily Brosmophycinae has been raised to the status of a family, the Dinematichthyidae which contains 25 genera and 114 species.
The Bythitidae is divided as follows:
- Subfamily Brosmophycinae
- Tribe Dinematichthyini
- Tribe Brosmophycini
- Tribe Dinematichthyini
- Subfamily Bythitinae
- Nielsen, Jørgen G. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
- Nielsen; Schwarzhans; and Hadiaty (2009). A blind, new species of Diancistrus (Teleostei, Bythitidae) from three caves on Muna Island, southeast of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Cybium 33(3): 241-245.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2017). Species of Cataetyx in FishBase. April 2017 version.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2017). Species of Grammonus in FishBase. April 2017 version.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2017). Species of Bythites in FishBase. April 2017 version.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2017). Thermichthys hollisi in FishBase. April 2017 version.
- Romero, A., editor (2001). The Biology of Hypogean Fishes. Developments in Environmental Biology of Fishes. ISBN 978-1402000768
- Schwarzhans, Werner; Møller, Peter Rask; Nielsen, Jørgen G. (2005). "Review of the Dinematichthyini (Teleostei: Bythitidae) of the Indo-West Pacific. Part I. Diancistrus and Two New Genera with 26 New Species". The Beagle, Records of the Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory. 21: 73–163.
- Schwarzhans & Møller (2007). "Review of the Dinematichthyini (Teleostei, Bythitidae) of the Indo-West pacific. Part III. Beaglichthys, Brosmolus, Monothrix and 8 new genera with description of 20 new species". The Beagle, Records of the Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory. 23: 29–110.
- Møller PR; Knudsen SW; Schwarzhans W; Nielsen JG (2016). "A new classification of viviparous brotulas (Bythitidae) - with family status for Dinematichthyidae - based on molecular, morphological and fossil data". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 100: 391–408. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.04.008. PMID 27060424. Abstract
- Nielsen J.G., Schwarzhans W., Cohen D.M. (2012). "Revision of Hastatobythites and Saccogaster (Teleostei, Bythitidae) with three new species and a new genus". Zootaxa. 3579: 1–36. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3579.1.1.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)