Key to the Families of Puget Sound Fishes

Section A

Need help? Click here before you begin.

1a.Jaws absent; mouth forms a toothed sucking disc; one nostril; no paired finsFamily Petromyzontidae
1b.Jaws present; paired nostrils; paired pectoral and/or pelvic fins present2
2a.One pair of gill openings3
2b.Five to seven pairs of gill openings, on sides or undersurfaceSection B
3a.One eye on each side of the head6
3b.Both eyes on the same side of the head4
4a.Dorsal and anal fins confluent with pointed caudal fin; usually only left pelvic fin developed; pectoral fins absent or reduced to fine membraneFamily Cynoglossidae
4b.Dorsal and anal fins not confluent with caudal; caudal not pointed; usually both pelvics developed5
5a.Pelvic fins asymmetrically placed on sides of body (fin for eyed side on ridge of abdomen, the other not on ridge); eyes and most pigment on left side of bodyFamily Bothidae
Lefteye Flounders
5b.Pelvic fins symmetrically placed on sides of body; eyes and most pigment usually on right side of bodyFamily Pleuronectidae
Righteye Flounders
6a.Pelvic fins absent, or reduced to single spine or scaleSection C
6b.Pelvic fins present (may be modified as cone or disc)7
7a.Pelvic fins thoracic11
7b.Pelvic fins abdominal8
8a.One dorsal finSection D
8b.Two dorsal fins9
9a.First dorsal fin with rays, the second adiposeSection E
9b.Both dorsal fins with rays, the first with spines, the second of soft-rays10
10a.First dorsal fin with a strong, venomous spine at origin; gill covers and bone structures weak and pliable; teeth fused to form grinding plateFamily Chimaeridae
Shortnose Chimaeras
10b.No single stout spine at origin of first dorsal fin; first dorsal entirely of weak spines, the second dorsal of soft-rays; teeth large, caninelikeFamily Sphyraenidae
11a.Pelvics thoracic, strongly modified forming a cone or sucking disc on bellySection F
11b.Pelvics thoracic and paired, not as a cone or sucking disc, normal (rays and membranes obvious) or barbel-like or clublike12
12a.Pelvics with more than 5 soft-raysSection G
12b.Pelvics with 5 or fewer soft-rays13
13a.Pelvics with exactly one spine and 5 soft-raysSection H
13b.Pelvics with less than 5 rays, the rays either normal or as barbel-like or club-like structuresSection I