Fish Or Fishes? Shoal Or School? A Few Fishy Terms Defined

Posted by on August 22, 2014 - zero

By Jeff Kurtz


In my nearly two decades as an aquarium writer and editor, I’ve noticed that certain terms routinely used in hobby literature when discussing our fine, finny friends are often a source of confusion to readers. So for today’s post, I thought it might be nice to clarify a few of these terms for those who are curious.

What’s the plural of fish?

If your answer to this question is either “fish” or “fishes,” you may be correct depending on the context. “Fish” is considered the correct plural form if you’re referring to a group of specimens all belonging to the same species. “Fishes” is the way to go if you’re referring to a group consisting of more than one species.

For example, if you have an aquarium housing five specimens of Heniochus diphreutes (the schooling bannerfish), your tank can be said to contain five fish. If, on the other hand, your tank holds a yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens), tomato clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus), bird wrasse (Gomphosus varius), niger trigger (Odonus niger), and sixline wrasse …read more

Read more here: Saltwater Smarts



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