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Names and Classification of Fishes

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Chapter Summary

Fish species have local names, but all formally described species have a scientific or Latin name that is used by the international scientific community. All described species have a single valid scientific name. The binomial, scientific name, as first proposed by Linnaeus, is composed of two parts, the first of these is the genus, as in Homo, and the second is the species, as in sapiens. The redeye piranha or piren (S) is Serrasalmus rhombeus. The generic name Serrasalmus pertains to a group of closely related species that share a number of common features. The specific name rhombeus applies to a single entity that is distinguished from its relatives by a unique combination of characters. This chapter summarizes the classification of the redeye piranha. Internal structures, particularly those pertaining to skeletal elements, are often indicative of relationships at levels of higher classification (family, order, and class).

Keywords:fish species; generic name; internal structures; scientific name; skeletal elements

10.1163/9789004207653_007
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