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The eelpouts are the ray-finned fish family Zoarcidae. As the common name suggests, they are somewhat eel-like in appearance, with elongated bodies and the dorsal and anal fins continuous with the caudal fin. All of the roughly 300 species are marine and mostly bottom-dwelling, some at great depths.

Halfbarred Pout Gymnelus hemifasciatus FemaleTypeA.jpg
Gymnelus hemifasciatus
Scientific classification


They are conventionally placed in the "perciform" assemblage; in fact, the Zoarcoidei seem to be specialized members of the Gasterosteiformes-Scorpaeniformes group of Acanthopterygii.[2]

The largest member of the family is Zoarces americanus, which may reach 1.1 m in length. Other notable family members include Lycodapus and Gymnelus.


This family contains about 61 genera and 300 species:

Lycodes turneri
Pachycara sp.
Zoarces viviparus




  1. ^ Swainson, William (1839). On the Natural History and Classification of Fishes, Amphibians, and Reptiles. 2. London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Greene, & Longmans. pp. 82–83, 184, 283. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.62140.
  2. ^ Kawahara, R.; Miya, M.; Mabuchi, K.; Lavoué, S.; Inoue, J.G.; Satoh, T.P.; Kawaguchi, A. & Nishida, M. (2008). "Interrelationships of the 11 gasterosteiform families (sticklebacks, pipefishes, and their relatives): a new perspective based on whole mitogenome sequences from 75 higher teleosts". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 46 (1): 224–36. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.07.009. PMID 17709262.
  3. ^ a b Matallanas J.; Corbella C. (2012). "Redescription of Iluocoetes Jenyns, 1842; proposal of a new genus, Argentinolycus, for Iluocoetes elongatus (Smitt, 1898), and description of Patagolycus melastomus gen. et sp. nov. (Teleostei, Zoarcidae)". Zootaxa. 3296: 1–18.
  4. ^ Iglésias S.P.; Dettai A.; Ozouf-Costaz C. (2012). "Barbapellis pterygalces, new genus and new species of a singular eelpout (Zoarcidae: Teleostei) from the Antarctic deep waters". Polar Biology. 35 (2): 215–220. doi:10.1007/s00300-011-1057-3.
  5. ^ a b Matallanas J (2010). "Description of two new genera, Santelmoa and Bentartia and two new species of Zoarcidae (Teleostei, Perciformes) from the Southern Ocean". Polar Biology. 33 (5): 659–672. doi:10.1007/s00300-009-0742-y.
  6. ^ Nazarkin M.V.; Shinohara G.; Shirai S.M. (2014). "Phylogeny and taxonomy of Petroschmidtia teraoi (Katayama, 1943) (Osteichthyes: Perciformes: Zoarcidae)". Zootaxa. 3780 (1): 171–193. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3780.1.7.