Species List

DNA Barcoding

We are working to collect DNA “barcodes” from every fish and macro-benthic invertebrate species of the Chesapeake Bay. Genetic barcoding uses short DNA sequences that are long enough and variable enough to differentiate between species, but short enough to sequence relatively cheaply. Barcode libraries like the one we are developing for Chesapeake Bay fish and invertebrates, can greatly improve the speed and accuracy of species identification, especially for specimens that are difficult to identify visually. For example, we are using our fish barcode library as a tool to identify the eggs and newly hatched larvae of river herring and the partially digested prey found in stomachs of the invasive blue catfish. Our project is a small subset of barcoding initiatives around the world. The Consortium for the Barcode of Life, of which the Smithsonian Institution was a founding member, aims to collect DNA sequences from every species on earth.

This species list below represents a record of specimens collected by the Fish and Invertebrate lab by otter trawl, fish wier, or seine. It is not meant to serve as a list of every species that has ever been present in the Rhode River.

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Condrichthyes

Order Family Genus species Common name
Rajiformes Myliobatidae Rhinoptera bonasus Cownose ray
Rajiformes Dasyatidae Dasyatis sabina Atlantic stingray


Class: Cephalaspidomorphi

Order Family Genus species Common name
Petromyzontiformes Petromyzonidae Petromyzon marinus Sea lamprey


Class: Actinopterygii

Order Family Genus species Common name
Anguilliformes Anguillidae Anguilla rostrata American eel
Clupeiformes Clupeidae Alosa aestivalis Blueback herring
    Alosa mediocris Hickory shad
    Alosa pseudoharengus Alewife
    Alosa sapidissima American shad
    Brevoortia tyrannus Atlantic menhaden
    Clupea harengus Atlantic herring
    Dorosoma cepedianum Gizzard shad
  Engraulidae Anchoa hepsetus Striped anchovy
    Anchoa mitchilli Bay anchovy
Esociformes Esocidae Esox niger Chain pickerel
Aulopiformes Synodontidae Synodus foetens Inshore lizardfish
Cypriniformes Cyprinidae Cyprinus carpio Common carp
    Notemigonus crysoleucas Golden shiner
    Notropis hudsonius Spottail shiner
    Pimephales promelas Fathead minnow
    Semotilus atromaculatus Creek Chub
    Hybognathus regius Eastern silvery minnow
Siluriformes Ictaluridae Ameiurus catus White catfish
    Ameiurus nebulosus Brown bullhead
    Ictalurus punctatus Channel catfish
Batrachoidiformes Batrachoididae Opsanus tau Oyster toadfish
Gobiesociformes Gobiesocidae Gobiesox strumosus Skilletfish
Gadiformes Gadidae Urophycis regia Spotted hake
Beloniformes Belonidae Strongylura marina Atlantic needlefish
Cyprinodontiformes Fundulidae Fundulus diaphanus Banded killifish
    Fundulus heteroclitus Mummichog
    Fundulus luciae Spotfin Killifish
    Fundulus majalis Striped Killifish
    Lucania parva Rainwater Killifish
  Cyprinodontidae Cyprinodon variegatus Sheepshead minnow
  Poeciliidae Gambusia holbrooki Eastern mosquitofish
Atheriniformes Atherinidae Menidia beryllina Inland silverside
    Menidia menidia Atlantic silverside
Gasterosteiformes Gasterosteidae Apeltes quadracus Fourspine stickleback
    Gasterosteus aculeatus Threespine stickleback
  Syngnathidae Hippocampus erectus Lined seahorse
    Syngnathus fuscus Northern pipefish
Perciformes Moronidae Morone americana White perch
    Morone saxatilis Striped bass
  Serranidae Centropristis striata Black sea bass
  Centrarchidae Lepomis cyanellus Green sunfish
    Lepomis gibbosus Pumpkinseed
    Lepomis macrochirus Bluegill
    Enneacanthus gloriosus Bluespotted sunfish
    Enneacanthus obesus Banded sunfish
    Micropterus dolomieu Smallmouth bass
    Micropterus salmoides Largemouth bass
    Pomoxis nigromaculatus Black crappie
  Percidae Perca flavescens Yellow perch
  Pomatomidae Pomatomus saltatrix Bluefish
  Carangidae Caranx hippos Crevalle jack
  Sciaenidae Bairdiella chrysoura Silver perch
    Cynoscion nebulosus Spotted sea trout
    Cynoscion regalis Weakfish
    Leiostomus xanthurus Spot
    Micropogonias undulatus Atlantic croaker
    Pogonias cromis Black drum
    Sciaenops ocellatus Red drum
  Ephippidae Chaetodipterus faber Atlantic spadefish
  Mugilidae Mugil cephalus Striped mullet
    Mugil curema White mullet
  Bleniidae Chasmodes bosquianus Striped blenny
  Gobiidae Gobiosoma bosci Naked goby
    Microgobius thalassinus Green goby
    Scomberomorus maculatus Spanish mackerel
  Stromateidae Peprilus alepidotus Harvestfish
Scorpaeniformes Triglidae Prionotus carolinus Northern searobin
Pleuronectiformes Paralichthyidae Paralichthys dentatus Summer flounder
  Pleuronectidae Pleuronectes americanus Winter flounder
  Cynoglossidae Symphurus plagiusa Blackcheek toungefish
  Achiridae Trinectes maculatus Hogchoker
Tetraodontiformes Tetraodontidae Sphoeroides maculatus Northern puffer