Ventichthys , Jørgen G. Nielsen, Peter Rask Møller & Michel Segonzac, 2006

Jørgen G. Nielsen, Peter Rask Møller & Michel Segonzac, 2006, Ventichthys biospeedoi n. gen. et sp. (Teleostei, Ophidiidae) from a hydrothermal vent in the South East Pacific., Zootaxa 1247, pp. 13-24: 15

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gen. nov.

Ventichthys  gen. nov.

Type species

Ventichthys biospeedoi  n. sp. (type locality: South East Pacific Rise, 17º25.38’S, 113º12.29’W, 2586 m).


An ophidiid genus with robust body; very small, overlapping scales on head and body; thick skin; posteriorly placed, enlarged kidneys; four lateral lines; dorsal fin origin above tip of pectorals; base of pelvic fin below hind margin of opercle; head broad with blunt snout; strong opercular spine covered by thick skin; upper jaw ends just behind eye; teeth granular, one median basibranchial tooth patch; anterior gill arch with 10-11 long rakers; number of rays in dorsal fin 80-89, caudal fin 8, anal fin 64-72, pelvic fin 2, pectoral fin 24-25; number of vertebrae 16-17 + 36 (in total 52-53).


A phylogenetic analysis of the Ophidiidae needs to be made, but there are two genera, Benthocometes (Goode and Bean, 1886)  ZBK  and Petrotyx Heller and Snodgrass, 1903  ZBK  that are similar to Ventichthys  in having a blunt snout, no free pectoral fin rays, granular teeth, and one basibranchial tooth patch. The differences between the three genera are shown in Table 2.


Vent refers to the hydrothermal vent and ichthys to fish.