Fish Science: Scientific Classification

Scientific classification of common game fish

As you probably learned in high school, all forms of life are scientifically classified. This process is called taxonomy. I am not a biology teacher so I will keep this pretty simple. The image to the right is a simplified classification "tree". In real science, there are additional subcategories under several of the main "headings". Also, the classifications shown below start with kingdom as "domain" is assumed.

Below are classification "trees" for Rainbow, Cutthroat and Brook trout. You will notice that they are all identical in structure until you get to genus.   

Should you want to see a similar listing to those shown below, you need to goto https://www.fishbase.se/search.php, find the search box under Common Name, enter the common name for the fish of interest and press search. When the "results" window appears there is typically the scientific name followed by the common name at the top followed by one or more images. Just below that is "Classification / Names"...staying on the same line, look across until you see "ITIS". Click on ITIS and the classification information should appear in a new window.

Classification chart.jpg

Classification "tree" for rainbow trout: Note: several subspecies are not included.

 

Kingdom Animalia  – Animal, animaux, animals 

    Subkingdom Bilateria  

       Infrakingdom Deuterostomia  

          Phylum Chordata  – cordés, cordado, chordates 

             Subphylum Vertebrata  – vertebrado, vertébrés, vertebrates 

                Infraphylum Gnathostomata  

                   Superclass Actinopterygii  – ray-finned fishes, spiny rayed fishes, poisson épineux, poissons à nageoires rayonnées 

                      Class Teleostei  

                         Superorder Protacanthopterygii  

                            Order Salmoniformes  – saumons, salmons 

                               Family Salmonidae  – salmonids, trouts and salmons, truchas y salmones, truites et saumons, salmons, trouts 

                                  Subfamily Salmoninae  

                                     Genus Oncorhynchus Suckley, 1861 – Pacific salmon 

                                        Species Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum, 1792) – rainbow trout, steelhead,  redband trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus mykiss aquilarum (Snyder, 1917) – Eagle Lake rainbow trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdnerii (Richardson, 1836) – Columbia River redband trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus mykiss gilberti (Jordan, 1894) – Kern golden trout, Kern River rainbow trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus (Gibbons, 1955) – coastal rainbow trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus mykiss mykiss (Walbaum, 1792) – Kamchatkan rainbow trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus mykiss nelsoni (Evermann, 1908) – Nelson's trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus mykiss stonei (Jordan, 1894) – Sacramento golden trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus mykiss whitei (Evermann, 1906) – Little Kern golden trout

 

Classification "tree" for cutthroat trout: Note: several subspecies are not included.

 

Kingdom Animalia  – Animal, animaux, animals 

    Subkingdom Bilateria  

       Infrakingdom Deuterostomia  

          Phylum Chordata  – cordés, cordado, chordates 

             Subphylum Vertebrata  – vertebrado, vertébrés, vertebrates 

                Infraphylum Gnathostomata  

                   Superclass Actinopterygii  – ray-finned fishes, spiny rayed fishes, poisson épineux, poissons à nageoires rayonnées 

                      Class Teleostei  

                         Superorder Protacanthopterygii  

                            Order Salmoniformes  – saumons, salmons 

                               Family Salmonidae  – salmonids, trouts and salmons, truchas y salmones, truites et saumons, salmons, trouts 

                                  Subfamily Salmoninae  

                                     Genus Oncorhynchus Suckley, 1861 – Pacific salmon 

                                        Species Oncorhynchus clarkii (Richardson, 1836) – cutthroat trout, trucha degollada, truite fardée 

   

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii behnkei Montgomery, 1995 – Snake River fine spotted cutthroat trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri (Jordan and Gilbert, 1883) – Yellowstone cutthroat trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii (Richardson, 1836) – coastal cutthroat trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi (Gill and Jordan, 1878) – Lahontan cutthroat trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi (Girard, 1856) 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii macdonaldi (Jordan and Evermann, 1890) – yellowfin cutthroat trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus (Cope, 1872) – Colorado River cutthroat trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii seleniris (Snyder, 1933) – Paiute cutthroat trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii stomias (Cope, 1871) – greenback cutthroat trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii utah (Suckley, 1874) – Bonneville cutthroat trout 

                                           Subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis (Girard, 1856) – Rio Grande cutthroat trout

 

Classification "tree" for brook trout:

 

Kingdom Animalia  – Animal, animaux, animals 

    Subkingdom Bilateria  

       Infrakingdom Deuterostomia  

          Phylum Chordata  – cordés, cordado, chordates 

             Subphylum Vertebrata  – vertebrado, vertébrés, vertebrates 

                Infraphylum Gnathostomata  

                   Superclass Actinopterygii  – ray-finned fishes, spiny rayed fishes, poisson épineux, poissons à nageoires rayonnées 

                      Class Teleostei  

                         Superorder Protacanthopterygii  

                            Order Salmoniformes  – saumons, salmons 

                               Family Salmonidae  – salmonids, trouts and salmons, truchas y salmones, truites et saumons, salmons, trouts 

                                  Subfamily Salmoninae  

                                     Genus Salvelinus Richardson, 1836 – chars 

                                        Species Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill, 1814) – brook trout,  charr, salter, sea trout, coaster brook trout, 

The aurora trout, S. f. timagamiensis, is a subspecies native to two lakes in the Temagami District of Ontario, Canada. The silver trout, (Salvelinus agassizii or S. f. agassizii), is an extinct trout species or subspecies last seen in Dublin Pond, New Hampshire, in 1930