NANFA-- endemic to NA

Christopher Scharpf (ichthos_at_charm.net)
Wed, 08 Dec 1999 13:31:01 -0400

To answer one of Jay's questions...

8 families and 126 genera have an exclusive NA distribution and probable origin.
The endemic families are:

Hiodontidae* (mooneyes)
Ictaluridae (bullhead catfishes)
Percopsidae (trout-perch)
Aphredoderidae (pirate pech)
Amblyopsidae (cavefishes)
Goodeidae (splitfins)
Centrarchidae* (sunfishes)
Elassomatidae (pygmy sunfishes)

Amiidae (bowfin) is not considered endemic because of its fossil distribution
worldwide. Ten genera and 28 species have been described so far. Some fossil
bowfins were impressively large; one African species (›Maliamia gigas) grew to
1.8-3.5 m; the largest North American species was ›Melvius chauliodous from New
Mexico. Amia calva is known to reach lengths of 109 cm (43 in) and weigh more
than 9.1 kg (20 lb).

* May not be endemic to NA because of recent fossil discoveries in Europe and
China; further studies needed.

Chris Scharpf
Baltimore

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