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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Northern cavefish, Amblyopsis spelaea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Percopsiformes
Family: Amblyopsidae


The cavefish (commonly: blindfish, swampfish) is found in caves and adapted to life in the dark. Notably, it lacks functional eyes and pigmentation. There are more than 80 known varieties of cavefish.

Cavefishes are generally small, ranging up to 11 centimetres (4.3 in) in length. Most do not have pelvic fins, although Amblyopsis spelaea has small ones with up to six rays. Externally, they resemble killifishes in many respects, although their internal anatomy more closely resembles the trout-perches, with which they are currently classified.[1]

Although some species have tiny, vestigial, eyes, three have no eyes at all. Cavefishes do, however, have rows of sensory papillae on their skin, which they use to help navigate their lightless environment. The majority of cave fish have little to no pigment in their skin. These features are an example of regressive evolution. Cavefishes can only be found in caves that have streams running into them; a cave with no inlets (such as Blanchard Springs Caverns in Arkansas) will not contain cavefishes. One species, the swampfish Chologaster cornuta, inhabits above-ground swamps, rather than caves.[1]

They are believed to have evolved from their aboveground counterparts.


The family includes six species in five genera:[2]

Family Amblyopsidae

External links

  1. ^ a b Cohen, Daniel M. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N.. ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 129. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.  
  2. ^ "Amblyopsidae". FishBase. Ed. Rainer Froese and Daniel Pauly. December 2008 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2008.


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Amblyopsis spelaea


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Osteichthyes
Classis: Actinopterygii
Subclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Superordo: Paracanthopterygii
Ordo: Percopsiformes
Familia: Amblyopsidae
Genera: Amblyopsis - Chologaster - Forbesichthys - Speoplatyrhinus - Typhlichthys


Amblyopsidae Bonaparte, 1846


  • Poly, W. J. 2004. Family Amblyopsidae Bonaparte 1846 cavefishes. California Academy of Sciences. Annotated Checklists of Fishes No. 23. 5 pp. Online access
  • Nelson, Joseph, S. (2006). Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0471250317.  
  • Amblyopsidae Report on ITIS
English: Cavefishes
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Amblyopsidae on Wikimedia Commons.


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