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Parts of a Fish


Adipose Fin - A relatively small fleshy fin on the back of some fishes between the dorsal and caudal fins.


Anadromous - Fishes living in the sea, which enter freshwater to spawn.


Anal Fin - The fin on the median ventral line between the anus and the tail.


Anal Spines - Stiff, pointed processes located on the anterior portion of the anal fin.




Barbels - Slender, Tactile, whiskerlike projections extending from the head of some fishes.


Benthic - Bottom dwelling.




Carnivorous - Flesh eating.


Catadromous - Fish living in fresh water but spawning in the sea.


Caudal Fin - The tail fin.


Caudal Peduncle - The slender portion of a fish’s body just found in front of the tail fin.


Caudal Saddle - A mark or blotch of color saddling the caudal peduncle of some fish.


Circumtropical - Encompassing the tropical regions of the world.


Ctenoid Scale - A bony scale with tiny spines on the exposed surface.


Cycloid Scale - A bony scale with a smooth surface.




Demersal - Bottom dwelling.


Dentition - The type, arrangement and number of teeth of an animal.


Detritus - Finely divided material suspended in the water that usually settles to the bottom.


Dorsal Fin - The median fin on the back of fishes. It may be divided into spiny-rayed and soft-rayed parts.




Endemic - Belonging or native to a particular place.




Fecundity - The number of eggs produced by a mature female.


Finlets - A series of small, usually separate fin rays situated behind the main dorsal fin.


Fork Length - The measurement from the tip of a fish’s snout to the fork in the tail.


Fusiform - Shapes like a spindle; tapered at both ends.




Ganoid Scale - A diamond-shaped scale having an enamel-like surface and not overlapping to any extent.


Gill Arches - The bony supports to which the gills are attached.


Gill Rakers - A series of bony projections attached to the inside of the gill arches, used to strain food from the water.




Incisors - front teeth flattened to form a cutting edge.




Lateral - Pertaining to the side.


Lateral Keel - A ridge situated on the side.


Lateral Line - A longitudinal line on each side of a fish’s body, composed of pores opening to sensory organs.


Longevity - Length or duration of life.




Mandible - The lower jaw.


Maturity - The age or size when a fish is able to reproduce.


Molars - Grinding teeth usually situated toward the back of the mouth.




Nocturnal - Active at night.


Nonstriated - Not marked with furrows, stripes, or streaks.


Nuchal - Relating to, or lying in the region of the back of the neck.




Ocellus - A spot of color encircled by a band of another color.


Olivaceous - A deep shade of green; olive.


Omnivorous - Eating all kinds of foods, indiscriminately.


Opercular Flap - A fleshy extension of the rear edge of the gill cover.


Operculum (Opercle) - The gill cover.


Opportunistic - Nonselective in feeding.


Outcropping - A part of a rock formation that appears at the surface of the ground, or bottom of the sea.


Ova - Eggs.




Pectoral Fins - The paired fins attached to the shoulder girdle, immediately behind the gill opening.


Pelagic - Living or growing in the region of free waters in the seas and inland lakes.


Pelvic Fins - The paired hind fins.


Peritoneum - The membrane lining of the body cavity.


Plankton - The small animals and plants that float or drift in the water, usually on the surface.


Pod - A small group of several fish.


Population - The whole number of a species inhabiting or occupying a specific geographical locality.


Potamodrous - Migrating in fresh water; making short spawning runs in fresh water.


Preoperculum - A bone before or in front of the opercle.


Protgynous Hermaphrodite - A fish that changes sex from female to male with age or size.




Sargassum - Any of several brown algae that are widely distributed in the warmer waters; the floating common gulfweed.


Scute - An external horny or bony plate or scale.


Stock - A reproductively distinct population of fish; to move from one place to another, as when introducing a species to a body of water where it does not naturally occur.


Substrate - The base on which organisms live.




Terminal - At the end or tip.


Total Length - The measurement from the tip of a fish’s snout to the tip of the tail.




Ventral Fins - The pelvic fins.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 05/04/06



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