RESOURCES: Netting New Catfish

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Science  28 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5611, pp. 1289
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5611.1289e

Catfish range in size from dainty 2-centimeter parasites to 5-meter, 330-kilogram lunkers. Over time, some have jettisoned their eyes; others have evolved the ability to waddle across land on their forefins. For a haul of taxonomic data on this diverse group, try the new site from the All Catfish Species Inventory, whose goal is to describe nearly all of the world's undiscovered species of catfish within the next 5 years.

The 2-month-old site, hosted by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, lists the number of species and genera for 37 families of catfishes. You can track down scientists working on each group and find field projects around the world. Links connect to an atlas of catfish skeletal anatomy and to pages on particular families. There's also a bibliography and a Listserv, along with links to catfish news stories—a Mexican species announced last October, for example, belongs to a new family. The site will expand to include identification keys, digital photos of type specimens, and distribution maps.

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