Abstract

The collection of fishes made by Captain John M. Dow of the Panama Railroad Company represents one of the earliest and most important collection of fishes from the Pacific coast of Central America. There are 133 entries in the Division of Fishes catalog attributed to Dow, of which 81 can currently be located. These represent some 61 species and include 29 types. The material is summarized, catalog numbers and sizes are given, and the current condition of each specimen is assessed. Missing specimens are summarized, with as much information on each as is available. Photographs of 21 of the type specimens are included.

During the early 1860's, the Smithsonian Institution received several collections of fishes from Capt. John Dow of the Panama Railroad, taken mainly on the Pacific coast of Central America. One of these collections was examined in some detail by Theodore Gill (1862, 1863), who described 22 new species from its contents. Gill did not treat the entire collection, just those he considered to be new species, plus two others that he transferred to different genera. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c) summarized all of the material, at least all of those specimens they were able to locate. The purpose of the present paper is to bring this information up to date and report on the status of the collection today, 135 yr after Jordan & Gilbert examined it and a century and a half after it was collected.

The Dow collection is important because it represents one of the earliest collections of fishes made on the Pacific side of Central America, and thus the first record of many of the species that occur there. It was one of the earliest results of the scientific exploration of Central America that occurred in the wake of the construction of the Panama Railroad in 1850–1855. Prior to that time, there had been little reason for anyone to travel to Panama. The main trade routes went by sea around the tip of South America. Although Panama was the narrowest crossing between the Atlantic and Pacific and was much closer to the commercial centers of Europe and North America than was Tierra del Fuego, it presented a difficult trip across rugged terrain and dense jungle. Diseases like malaria and yellow fever made the passage even more difficult. The Panama Railroad changed all that. Now a quick and easy transit was possible for both people and cargo. From either end of the railroad, ships were waiting to carry the contents to ports on both the Atlantic and Pacific. The discovery of gold in California at about the same time provided added incentive to make the crossing. Where commerce went, science was not far behind.

John Melmoth Dow (1827–1892) was one of a class of amateur naturalist-collectors who made important contributions to science in the 19th Century. In an age when professional opportunities were strictly limited, dedicated amateurs like Dow played an important role in the scientific enterprise. John Dow was born in New York City and lived most of his life there. He embarked on a study of law but soon left to pursue a career at sea, reportedly because of health problems. In 1850, he was hired by the Panama Railroad Company, which had just started construction of the trans-isthmian line. Dow began as second officer on one of the Company's ships and soon was promoted to Captain, in which capacity he spent the next two decades. Dow had a deep interest in science and nature, and the time he spent in Panama gave him ample opportunity to explore this still largely unknown area. He worked extensively with Spencer Fullerton Baird, then Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and other prominent naturalists of the day. He was a corresponding member of the Zoological Society of London as well as the New York Geographical Society and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Numerous species have been named after him. Well known during his lifetime, he has been largely forgotten today. The beginning of the Panama Canal's second century of operation may be an opportune time to bring renewed attention to this interesting and important historical figure.

Material and Methods

There are 133 entries in the catalog of the Division of Fishes that are attributed to John Dow. Of these, 81 can currently be located, although in a few cases the specimens cannot be matched with the precise catalog number. Two others were present in the recent past but could not be found during the preparation of this paper. Fifty entries cannot be found and are presumed lost. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:373) stated that “many of the specimens have been allowed to decay,” and most of the missing specimens may have been lost or discarded at an early date. Most of those remaining are in fairly good condition. It is uncertain whether all of the Dow specimens were entered into the catalog. Some of the species described from Dow's collections cannot be found either on the shelves or in the catalog and hence must have been lost before being catalogued. It is also uncertain when some of these lots were catalogued. In many of the early ledgers, the “When Entered” field is blank; this includes the critical period during the 1860's when the collections arrived. Those that are there were entered over a considerable period of time, many in the 1870's and 1880's, well after they were received by the museum.

Most of the locality data are given in broadly general terms such as “Panama” and “San Salvador” (which clearly refers to the entire nation of El Salvador and not just the capital city, which is well inland). Dow probably accumulated the specimens he collected and sent them in batches. Apparently, he knew more than was actually entered in the ledgers, as evidenced by Jordan & Gilbert's comment on Exocoetus albidactylus (see below under Hyporhamphus unifasciatus). In those days, the importance of geographic variation and ecological habitat was not appreciated, and it is rare to find precise localities given. Although most of the material came from the Pacific side of the isthmus, apparently not all of it did. Some of the early entries give no location at all. It is also not entirely certain whether all of the specimens attributed to Dow were actually collected by him, although the great majority certainly was. The specimens treated by Jordan & Gilbert as Kuhlia xenura, for example, were undoubtedly collected in the central Pacific (see below).

The specimens are presented here by taxon in approximate phylogenetic order. Except where otherwise indicated, they are listed under the currently accepted name. Where Jordan & Gilbert referred to them by a different name, the latter is appended in square brackets. The catalog number, the number of specimens, and the size range in mm are given for each lot, followed by the locality stated in the ledger. Lengths are standard lengths unless otherwise indicated (TL = total length; FL = fork length). In lots indicated as lost, the original number of specimens is taken from the ledger, where available. Institutional abbreviations are: ANSP, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia; USNM, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. The fourth edition of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN 1999) was followed throughout.

The ledgers from these early years are sometimes hard to interpret. For example, the page containing USNM 4951–4975 has “Panama” entered in the Locality field at the top of the page. A long series of entries below have the Locality field blank. Does this mean that these entries are all from Panama as well, or is the locality simply unstated? The handwritten entries often appear hastily scribbled, but that was the common way of writing in those days. The interpretation of handwriting often seems like an exercise in cryptography, and a few of the entries still cannot be deciphered.

Eschmeyer et al.'s online Catalog of Fishes was consulted for nomenclatural and bibliographic details. Correspondence between John Dow and Spencer Baird is housed in the Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, DC. The main body of Dow's papers is deposited in the library of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. A finding aid is available online at the library's website (Cornell University Library 2006).

Types and Putative Types
Family Triakidae
Mustelus dorsalis Gill, 1864 

    Types and Putative Types
    Family Triakidae
    Mustelus dorsalis Gill, 1864 

Material

USNM 8068 (3), Panama. Lost.

Remarks

Gill (1864:149) described this species in a paragraph appended to his description of Mustelus californicus. He stated only that “several specimens” had been received from Panama. The ledger does not give the number of specimens, but three specimens were present and would be considered syntypes. They were lost while on loan sometime after 1967 (Howe & Springer 1993:7).

Family Urotrygonidae
Urotrygon munda Gill, 1863 
Fig. 1A

Fig. 1

A, Urotrygon munda, USNM 7297 (195 mm TL), syntype, scale bar = 20 mm; B, Atractosteus tropicus, USNM 6806 (400 mm TL), holotype, scale bar = 30 mm.

Fig. 1

A, Urotrygon munda, USNM 7297 (195 mm TL), syntype, scale bar = 20 mm; B, Atractosteus tropicus, USNM 6806 (400 mm TL), holotype, scale bar = 30 mm.

Material

USNM 7297 (1, 195 mm TL), W. coast California.

Remarks

Gill (1863:173) stated that two specimens were present, a male and a female, but only one specimen, a female, is in the jar today. The whereabouts of the second specimen is unknown. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:378) included this species in a list of those that appeared to be lost and gave no catalog number. The species is clearly entered in the ledger under this name, although it is not certain whether the entry was made before or after Jordan & Gilbert's study. The “No. of Specimens” column is blank.

Family Lepisosteidae
Atractosteus tropicus Gill, 1863 
Fig. 1B

Material

USNM 4965 (lost), no locality stated; USNM 6806 (1, 400 mm TL), Costa Rica.

Remarks

Although this species was explicitly described from a single specimen (Gill 1863:173), there are two entries in the ledger under this name. USNM 4965 was entered as “Lepidosteus (Atractosteus) tropicus” and was never subsequently changed. A specific locality was not given, although it was one of a series attributed to Dow, with “Panama” at the top of the page (see above under Material and Methods). USNM 6806 was originally entered as Lepidosteus tristoechus and was later changed to Atractosteus tropicus. The locality was given as Costa Rica. The ledger entry for this specimen was marked “Type” followed by “GSM 1933.” This refers to George S. Myers, who was the Curator of Fishes at the Smithsonian at that time. USNM 4965 cannot be found, but USNM 6806 is present and in good condition. It is uncertain when USNM 4965 disappeared, but USNM 6086 closely matches the size given by Gill (“nearly 16 inches long”) and is almost certainly the specimen he used to describe the species. It is conceivable that those two numbers might represent the same specimen catalogued twice, but there is no hard evidence for this one way or the other. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:378) listed the specimen as lost, but it is present. Gill considered this “the most interesting fish of Capt. Dow's fine collection.”

Family Anablepidae
Anableps dowei Gill, 1861 
Fig. 2A-B

Fig. 2

A, Anableps dowei, USNM 6048 (160 mm), holotype, lateral view, scale bar = 10 mm; B, same, dorsal view; C, Gambusia nicaraguensis, USNM 151461 (33 mm), syntype, scale bar = 5 mm.

Fig. 2

A, Anableps dowei, USNM 6048 (160 mm), holotype, lateral view, scale bar = 10 mm; B, same, dorsal view; C, Gambusia nicaraguensis, USNM 151461 (33 mm), syntype, scale bar = 5 mm.

Material

USNM 6048 (1, 160 mm), San Salvador; USNM 8005 (3, 162–214 mm); La Unión, near San Salvador.

Remarks

There is considerable confusion about these specimens and the status of the holotype of Anableps dowei. Jordan & Gilbert listed only USNM 8005, which they stated contained “five specimens, the largest nearly 11 in. long, from La Unión, San Salvador.” This lot today contains only three specimens: a male of 162 mm SL, and two females of 200–214 mm. There are, however, two other specimens from that era: USNM 6048 and ANSP 6982, both collected from El Salvador, which could represent the missing two specimens.

Gill (1861:4) stated in his description that there was “a single specimen of this new species of Anableps … obtained by Capt. J. M. Dow.” He did not give the size of the specimen, but stated that “the anal fin of the male has nearly the same position and structure, as that of the same sex in Anableps tetrophthalmus.” This would imply that his specimen was a male. Of the five known specimens, USNM 6048 and the smallest specimen of USNM 8005 are males. The remaining three specimens, including ANSP 6982 (K. Luckenbill pers. comm.), are females. This leaves two specimens as candidates for the holotype: USNM 6048 and the male from USNM 8005, but there is no unambiguous way to tell which is which. The USNM catalog ledger does not give the date on which either of the two lots was entered, but two pages before the entry for USNM 8005, a date of 1871 is given. This might indicate that USNM 8005 was entered 10 yr after the description of Anableps dowei, thus eliminating it as a candidate. However, there is no guarantee that the specimens were catalogued when they were received. Gill did not give catalog numbers, and the numbers may have been added later.

Gill did not give a specific locality for his specimen, beyond saying that it had been sent “from Panama by Captain J. M. Dow.” The fact that it was sent from Panama, however, does not mean that it was collected there. Dow may well have accumulated his specimens and sent them in one shipment. The locality for USNM 8005 in the ledger is given as “La Unión near San Salvador.” That for USNM 6048 states simply “San Salvador.” The name in the “Received From” column is illegible. The first word appears to be “Capt.” The second word looks like an abbreviation, perhaps “Rd.”

To complicate the issue further, the jar containing USNM 6048 had two specimens in it. Robert Rush Miller examined this lot in 1974 and left a note stating that the smaller specimen was Anableps anableps and should be removed from the jar; it is currently catalogued as USNM 404556. It is impossible to know when this second specimen was placed in the jar, or why or by whom. Anableps anableps (Linnaeus 1758) occurs in South America from Brazil to Venezuela, not Central America. Miller also stated in the note that the jar contained “the badly twisted male holotype of Anableps dowi.”

Left unexplained is what happened to the fourth and fifth specimens noted by Jordan & Gilbert in USNM 8005. The female in ANSP 6982 is likely to be one of them, as it is stated to have come from the same locality. If the fifth specimen is the one currently in USNM 6048, why was it in the jar with USNM 8005 in 1882, and when was it removed? If it is not, then where is it? Given all the uncertainties and ambiguities, the most parsimonious interpretation is that the specimen of Anableps dowei in the jar labeled USNM 6048 is the holotype. The specimen was re-fixed in formalin in 1974.

Although the name has commonly been spelled as dowi, the original spelling is dowei.

Family Poeciliidae
Gambusia nicaraguensis Günther, 1866
Fig. 2C

    Family Poeciliidae
    Gambusia nicaraguensis Günther, 1866
    Fig. 2C

Material

USNM 151461 (1, 33 mm), Lake Nicaragua.

Remarks

This is a syntype of G. nicaraguensis. It was not treated by Jordan & Gilbert. It is a female and in good condition.

Family Exocoetidae
Exocoetus albidactylus Gill, 1863 

    Family Exocoetidae
    Exocoetus albidactylus Gill, 1863 

Material

Lost. Brazil.

Remarks

Gill (1863:167) described this species from one specimen, 11 in. in length. No such specimen can be found today, and there is no such entry in the ledger. It is presumed lost. The species is now considered a synonym of Cheilopogon cyanopterus (Valenciennes 1847). Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:373) reported that it came from Brazil, not Panama.

Hirundichthys volador (Jordan, 1884) [Exocoetus dowii]
Fig. 3A

    Hirundichthys volador (Jordan, 1884) [Exocoetus dowii]
    Fig. 3A
Fig. 3

A, Hirundichthys volador, USNM 37667 (247 mm), holotype of Exocoetus dowii Gill 1863, scale bar = 20 mm; B, Joturus pichardi, USNM 19915 (335 mm), syntype of Joturus stipes Jordan & Gilbert, 1882, scale bar = 20 mm; C, Oligoplites saurus, USNM 30959 (251 mm FL), holotype of Oligoplites inornatus Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 mm.

Fig. 3

A, Hirundichthys volador, USNM 37667 (247 mm), holotype of Exocoetus dowii Gill 1863, scale bar = 20 mm; B, Joturus pichardi, USNM 19915 (335 mm), syntype of Joturus stipes Jordan & Gilbert, 1882, scale bar = 20 mm; C, Oligoplites saurus, USNM 30959 (251 mm FL), holotype of Oligoplites inornatus Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 mm.

Material

USNM 37667 (1, 247 mm), Panama?

Remarks

This is the holotype of Exocoetus dowii Gill, 1863. It is in good condition. Two specimens were in the jar when this lot was catalogued in 1886. Gill (1863:167) clearly indicated that his species was based on one specimen, approximately 13 in. long. The smaller specimen, reidentified as Cheilopogon sp., is not part of the type series and was removed to USNM 314980 (see below). Exocoetus dowii was synonymized by Collette et al. (1992:7) with Hirundichthys rondeletii Valenciennes, 1847, an Atlantic species that occurs only north of about 20°N. The specimen clearly could not have come from Panama. Captain Dow sailed regularly between Panama and New York, and it is possible that this specimen was picked up somewhere along the route. Parin & Belyanina (2002) split Hirundichthys rondeletii into several allopatric species. The western Atlantic form was recognized as Hirundichthys volador (Jordan 1884). Although Exocoetus dowii has priority over H. volador, there remain some uncertainties over the location and the identification. In light of these uncertainties, Parin & Belyanina chose to recognize the well-documented H. volador as the valid name.

Family Mugilidae
Joturus pichardi Poey, 1860 [Joturus stipes n. sp.]
Fig. 3B

    Family Mugilidae
    Joturus pichardi Poey, 1860 [Joturus stipes n. sp.]
    Fig. 3B

Material

USNM 19915 (1, 335 mm), locality uncertain; USNM 31010 (1, 250 mm), Panama.

Remarks

These specimens are syntypes of Joturus stipes, described by Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:373). The specimens are in reasonably good condition, although USNM 31010 has the caudal fin missing. The origin of USNM 19915 is questionable. It is among a series (USNM 19989–19919) that were catalogued on the same date (28 May 1877). The locality was originally entered as “W. Coast Central Amer.,” with no collector indicated. A question mark was later added along with the notation “Probably E. C. Cent. Am. (Jordan).” At the top of the list, the name “Jordan” was entered in the “Collected by” field. The fishes in this series include various Atlantic, Pacific, and freshwater species. There is no specific indication in the ledger that these were collected by Dow.

USNM 19915 originally contained two specimens, but in 1954 one of these was exchanged to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Cronulla, New South Wales, Australia, apparently at the request of J. M. Thomson, who was working on mugilids at the time. The CSIRO collection was moved to Hobart, Tasmania, in 1985, where it resides today. The specimen in question, however, cannot be found today, and there is no record of it in the CSIRO collection database (A. Graham pers. comm.). Thomson later worked at the University of Queensland, and his revision of the Mugilidae (Thomson 1997) was published in the Memoirs of the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, but the specimen is not there, either (J. Johnson pers. comm.). In the Material Examined for Joturus pichardi, Thomson (1997:468) lists 15 specimens, which he states include the types of Agonostomus globiceps Günther, 1874 and Joturus stipes, both synonyms of J. pichardi. Although the type of A. globiceps is listed, that of J. pichardi is not. The specimen could conceivably been deposited at the Australian Museum in Sydney, which is close to Cronulla, but it cannot be found there today (A. Hay pers. comm.). At this point, the specimen must be considered lost.

Family Carangidae
Oligoplites saurus Bloch and Schneider, 1801 [Oligoplites occidentalis]
Fig. 3C

    Family Carangidae
    Oligoplites saurus Bloch and Schneider, 1801 [Oligoplites occidentalis]
    Fig. 3C

Material

USNM 30959 (1, 251 mm FL), Panama.

Remarks

This is the holotype of Oligoplites inornatus Gill, 1863, now considered a synonym of O. saurus. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:374) treated it as O. occidentalis (Günther, 1860), another synonym. It is in excellent condition.

Carangoides otrynter (Jordan & Gilbert, 1883) [Caranx dorsalis]
Fig. 4A

Fig. 4

A, Carangoides otrynter, USNM 4957 (202 mm FL), syntype of Carangoides dorsalis Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 m; B, Gnathanodon speciosus, USNM 30960 (192 mm FL), syntype of Caranx panamensis Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 m; C, Caranx sexfasciatus, USNM 30958 (209 mm FL), holotype of Carangus marginatus Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 mm.

Fig. 4

A, Carangoides otrynter, USNM 4957 (202 mm FL), syntype of Carangoides dorsalis Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 m; B, Gnathanodon speciosus, USNM 30960 (192 mm FL), syntype of Caranx panamensis Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 m; C, Caranx sexfasciatus, USNM 30958 (209 mm FL), holotype of Carangus marginatus Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 mm.

Material

USNM 4957 (2, 202–212 mm FL), locality not stated.

Remarks

These are syntypes of Carangoides dorsalis Gill, 1863. This species is considered a synonym of C. otrynter although the former is an older name. Jordan & Gilbert (1883:202) proposed Caranx otrynter as a substitute name for Carangoides dorsalis because the latter would be a junior secondary homonym of Vomer dorsalis Gill, 1863 when both species were placed in Caranx. The ICZN is somewhat contradictory about this situation. Article 59.2 states “Secondary homonyms not replaced when no longer considered congeneric.” The two dorsalis species are not considered congeneric today and have not been for many years. However, Article 59.3 says that “a junior secondary homonym replaced before 1961 is permanently invalid unless the substitute name is not in use and the relevant taxa are no longer considered congeneric.” In this case, Caranx otrynter did replace C. dorsalis before 1961 and is in use today, hence it must be treated as the valid name.

Gnathanodon speciosus (Forsskål, 1775) [Caranx speciosus]
Fig. 4B

    Gnathanodon speciosus (Forsskål, 1775) [Caranx speciosus]
    Fig. 4B

Material

USNM 30960 (1, 192 mm FL), Panama.

Remarks

This is a syntype of Caranx panamensis Gill, 1863. Only one specimen, in good condition, is present, but Gill (1863:166) stated that there was another one “in a former collection of Capt. Dow.”

Caranx sexfasciatus Quoy and Gaimard, 1825 [Caranx fallax]
Fig. 4C

    Caranx sexfasciatus Quoy and Gaimard, 1825 [Caranx fallax]
    Fig. 4C

Material

USNM 30958 (1, 209 mm FL), Panama.

Remarks

This is the holotype of Carangus marginatus Gill, 1863, a synonym of Caranx sexfasciatus. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:375) referred to this as Caranx fallax Cuvier, 1833, now considered a synonym of C. latus Agassiz, 1831. It is in good condition.

Family Serranidae
Rypticus nigripinnis Gill, 1861 [Rhypticus nigripinnis]
Fig. 5A

Fig. 5

A, Rypticus nigripinnis, USNM 30961 (165 mm), holotype of Promicropterus decoratus Gill, 1863, scale bar = 10 mm; B, Epinephelus analogus, USNM 4944 (260 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm; C, Pomadasys bayanus, USNM 30957 (230 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm.

Fig. 5

A, Rypticus nigripinnis, USNM 30961 (165 mm), holotype of Promicropterus decoratus Gill, 1863, scale bar = 10 mm; B, Epinephelus analogus, USNM 4944 (260 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm; C, Pomadasys bayanus, USNM 30957 (230 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm.

Material

USNM 4945 (lost); USNM 30961 (1, 165 mm), Panama.

Remarks

USNM 30961 is the holotype of Promicropterus decoratus Gill, 1863, a synonym of Rypticus nigripinnis. It is in excellent condition. Another specimen, USNM 4945, is recorded in the ledger as Rhypticus [sic] decoratus. The locality field for this lot is blank, but the space immediately above has “C. A. Western Coast” in square brackets, possibly added at some later time. The collector is given as Capt. Dow. The name decoratus appears to be in a different handwriting and may have been added subsequently. It cannot be found and is presumed lost.

Epinephelus analogus Gill, 1863 
Fig. 5B

Material

USNM 4944 (1, 260 mm), California western coast; USNM 30993 (1, 124 mm), Panama.

Remarks

USNM 4944 is the holotype of the species. Both specimens are in very good condition.

Family Pomadasyidae
Pomadasys bayanus Jordan and Evermann, 1898 [Pomadasys humilis]
Fig. 5C

Material

USNM 30957 (1, 230 mm), Panama; USNM 30963 (1, 76 mm), Panama.

Remarks

These are the holotype and paratype respectively of Pomadasys bayanus; they are good condition. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:375) mentioned only USNM 30957, which they identified as Pomadasys humilis Kner. That name was preoccupied and renamed Pomadasys bayanus by Jordan & Evermann (1898:1331), who also included USNM 30963 as the paratype. Although Jordan & Gilbert listed only USNM 30957, they reported two specimens from it: “a fine adult specimen, and one young specimen.” The specimen in 30963, which was catalogued on the same date, measures only 76 mm and would seem to be the young specimen mentioned. Perhaps their omission of 30963 was simply an error.

Family Khuliidae
Kuhlia xenura (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

    Family Khuliidae
    Kuhlia xenura (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Material

USNM 4356 (1, 132 mm), USNM 361397 (1, 123 mm), “San Salvador.”

Remarks

These are the lectotype and paralectotype, respectively, of Xenichthys xenurus Jordan & Gilbert (1882a:454). The catalog number of the lectotype is one of a series that was originally assigned to the type series of Euschistodus concolor Gill, 1863, an eastern Pacific species (see below). Those specimens were supposedly recatalogued as USNM 30986 (see below), and the original number was reassigned to Xenichthys xenurus. The reason for this shuffling of catalog numbers is unknown, but there is no reason to believe that the Kuhlia specimens were part of the Dow collection. Indeed, the species and the genus do not occur in the eastern Pacific. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:376, footnote) stated: “There is some reason for thinking that these specimens belonged to Dr. Stimpson's olclection [sic], and came from the east coast of Asia.” Randall and Randall (2001:251) determined that the specimens belong to a species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and thus must have come from there. At any rate, they clearly are not part of Captain Dow's material. In their description, Jordan & Gilbert (1882a) stated that “this species is known from one specimen,” but in their subsequent treatment (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882c:376) they reported two. Both specimens were originally in USNM 4356 and were split when the lectotype was designated by Randall and Randall (2001:247).

The Locality field for USNM 4356 does not contain any geographical information, but rather the word “type.” The entries immediately above and below contain San Salvador in the Locality field, but the two numbers at the top of the page (USNM 4351 and 4352, Dascyllus albisella) came from Honolulu; the collector appears to be W. H. Pease. It is possible that the Kuhlia specimens were part of that collection, perhaps explaining why the catalog number was reassigned.

Family Centropomidae
Centropomus armatus Gill, 1863 
Fig. 6A

Fig. 6

A, Centropomus armatus, USNM 4967 (222 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm; B, Bairdiella armata, USNM 35134 (158 mm), holotype, scale bar = 10 mm; C, Ophioscion typicus, USNM 5163 (156 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm.

Fig. 6

A, Centropomus armatus, USNM 4967 (222 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm; B, Bairdiella armata, USNM 35134 (158 mm), holotype, scale bar = 10 mm; C, Ophioscion typicus, USNM 5163 (156 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm.

Material

USNM 4967 (1, 222 mm), Panama Bay.

Remarks

This is the holotype. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:378) listed this species among those that appeared to be lost, but the specimen is present and in good condition.

Family Sciaenidae
Bairdiella armata Gill, 1863 [Sciaena armata]
Fig. 6B

Material

USNM 35134 (1, 158 mm), Panama.

Remarks

This is the holotype of Bairdiella armata. It is in good condition. Although they acknowledged its type status, Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:376) neglected to give the catalog number.

Ophioscion typicus Gill, 1863 [Sciaena ophioscion]
Fig. 6C

Material

USNM 5163 and USNM 22861(1, 156 mm), Panama.

Remarks

This is the holotype of Ophioscion typicus. It was apparently catalogued twice under two different numbers. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:376) treated it as a synonym of Corvina ophioscion Günther, 1868, despite the inverted priority.

Family Pomacanthidae
Pomacanthus zonipectus (Gill, 1862)
Fig. 7A

Fig. 7

A, Pomacanthus zonipectus, USNM 5922 (166 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm; B, Eucinostomus dowii, USNM 30985 (120 mm), syntype of Diapterus dowii Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 mm; C, Abudefduf concolor, USNM 30986 (70 mm), possible syntype of Euschistodus concolor Gill, 1862, scale bar = 10 mm.

Fig. 7

A, Pomacanthus zonipectus, USNM 5922 (166 mm), holotype, scale bar = 20 mm; B, Eucinostomus dowii, USNM 30985 (120 mm), syntype of Diapterus dowii Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 mm; C, Abudefduf concolor, USNM 30986 (70 mm), possible syntype of Euschistodus concolor Gill, 1862, scale bar = 10 mm.

Material

USNM 5922 (1, 166 mm), San Salvador.

Remarks

This is the holotype of Pomacanthodes zonipectus Gill, 1862. It is in good condition. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:376) listed another specimen, USNM 29979, but this was not part of the Dow collection.

Family Gerreidae
Eucinostomus dowii (Gill, 1863) [Gerres dowi]
Fig. 7B

Material

USNM 30985 (1, 120 mm), Panama; USNM 200846 (2, 114–120 mm), Panama.

Remarks

These are the syntypes of Diapterus dowii Gill, 1863. They are in good condition. USNM 30985 originally contained three specimens. Two of them were separated and recatalogued in anticipation of a lectotype designation. This act has not been published, however, and all three specimens remain syntypes.

Family Pomacentridae
Abudefduf concolor (Gill, 1862) [Glyphidodon declivifrons]
Fig. 7C

    Family Pomacentridae
    Abudefduf concolor (Gill, 1862) [Glyphidodon declivifrons]
    Fig. 7C

Material

USNM 4355 (2), San Salvador; USNM 4357 (1), San Salvador; USNM 4358 (2), San Salvador; USNM 4359 (1), San Salvador; USNM 4361 (12), San Salvador; USNM 4362 (1), San Salvador; USNM 4376 (1), San Salvador; USNM 5078 (lost), Panama; USNM 30986 (1, 70 mm), San Salvador.

Remarks

These lots are all possible syntypes of Euschistodus concolor Gill, 1862 and are today in a state of near hopeless confusion. The species was described in a footnote in the same paper that contained a detailed description of Euschistodus declivifrons. Gill (1862:145) added it as an apparent afterthought, gave a few distinguishing characters, and said that it was “an inhabitant of Panama, where it was discovered by Capt. J. M. Dow.” The ledger originally contained nine entries for this species (listed above), all but one stated to be from San Salvador. One of them, USNM 30986, was supposedly re-catalogued from USNM 4356, as noted by Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377). In 1984, six specimens were found in a single jar, each bearing a tin tag reading 4356. It is likely that these specimens actually belonged to 4355, 4357, 4358, 4359, 4362, and 4376, but it cannot be determined with certainty which specimens go with which catalog numbers, and the total numbers do not add up. At the same time, 13 specimens were found in a jar labeled USNM 2757, Abudefduf declivifrons (see below). Jordan & Gilbert found one specimen in the last-mentioned lot when they examined it in 1882. It is possible that the additional 12 specimens came from USNM 4361, which the ledger says contained 12 specimens. As a further bit of confusion, a note in the ledger says that USNM 4358 was removed from USNM 2756.

Jordan & Gilbert did not mention any of the lots listed above except USNM 30986, which they identified as “Glyphidodon declivifrons.” They stated parenthetically that it was formerly 4356 and further stated: “Type of Euschistodus concolor.” The ledger originally listed two specimens for 4356 and stated “banded and with light dotted scales.” Today USNM 30986 contains only one specimen, which indeed has light dotted scales. The whereabouts of the second specimen is unknown. Jordan & Gilbert at that time considered concolor a synonym of declivifrons, and, as they did not mention the other lots, may have considered 30986 as the only type specimen. Jordan & Evermann (1896:1559), however, not only recognized concolor as a species, but even put it into a new genus, Nexilarius, based on the relation of the suborbital bone to the preopercular: adnate and covered with scales in concolor vs demarcated by a free lower edge in declivifrons. By this character, the specimen does indeed look more like declivifrons than concolor. Although Abudefduf declivifrons has a more northerly distribution than A. concolor, the limits of their ranges are still uncertain. The late W. A. Bussing reported that both species occur off Costa Rica (pers. comm., 23 Nov 2011).

BMNH 1862.5.21.22 is listed by Eschmeyer et al. as a possible syntype of this species and is noted as “ex USNM.” However, according to the BMNH online collection database (http://data.nhm.ac.uk), the specimen came from Cape San Lucas, Mexico, not Panama. That would indicate that it is Abudefduf declivifrons, not concolor, which does not occur that far north. The two species were formerly synonymized but are now considered distinct (Lessios et al. 1995). There is no indication in the USNM ledger that any of the putative type specimens of either of these species were transferred to the BMNH. Any such transfer must have occurred before they were catalogued.

USNM 5078 adds another bit of uncertainty. It is the only one that is explicitly stated in the ledger as having come from Panama, where Gill said the species occurs. Furthermore, the meristic characters he presented in his (exceedingly brief) description were single numbers and not ranges, as he did for declivifrons, which was based on seven specimens. It might thus be argued that concolor was based on a single specimen and that USNM 5078 was the holotype. There is no way to prove this, however. The specimen itself cannot be found and is presumed lost.

Family Gobiidae
Bathygobius ramosus Ginsburg, 1947 [Gobius soporator]
Fig. 8A

Fig. 8

Top, Bathygobius ramosus, USNM 2761 (56 mm), paratype of Bathygobius ramosus ramosus Ginsburg, 1947, scale bar = 10 mm; B, Dormitator maculatus, USNM 4953 (218 mm), holotype of Dormitator microphthalmus Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 mm.

Fig. 8

Top, Bathygobius ramosus, USNM 2761 (56 mm), paratype of Bathygobius ramosus ramosus Ginsburg, 1947, scale bar = 10 mm; B, Dormitator maculatus, USNM 4953 (218 mm), holotype of Dormitator microphthalmus Gill, 1863, scale bar = 20 mm.

Material

USNM 2761 (6, 50–67 mm), locality not stated.

Remarks

Ginsburg (1947:281) described Bathygobius ramosus and divided it into four subspecies. These are paratypes of Bathygobius ramosus ramosus. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377) referred to “many small specimens” in this lot. Six are present today; they are in fairly good condition.

Family Eleotridae
Dormitator maculatus (Bloch, 1792)
Fig. 8B

    Family Eleotridae
    Dormitator maculatus (Bloch, 1792)
    Fig. 8B

Material

USNM 4953 (1, 218 mm), locality not stated.

Remarks

This is the holotype of Dormitator microphthalmus Gill, 1863, now considered a synonym of D. maculatus. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c) apparently overlooked this specimen. They did not mention it, either in the main text or in the list of types that could not be found. It is present, however, and in good condition.

Missing Types

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:378) listed the types of 11 species as lost. Four of them, Atractosteus tropicus, Centropomus armatus, Exocoetus dowii, and Urotrygon munda were subsequently found in the collection (see above). The remaining seven cannot be found today and are presumed lost. They are listed below under the name used by Jordan & Gilbert.

Family Sciaenidae
Amblyscion argenteus Gill, 1863 

    Family Sciaenidae
    Amblyscion argenteus Gill, 1863 

Material

Lost.

Remarks

The only two Amblyscion entries in the ledger among the Dow material are USNM 5163 and 22861, which apparently represent the same specimen catalogued twice, and which is the holotype of Ophioscion typicus (see above). The specimen of A. argenteus (now Larimus argenteus) described by Gill (1863:165) apparently was lost without being catalogued.

Family Mullidae
Upeneus grandisquamis Gill, 1863 

Material

USNM 4949 (lost), USNM 4950 (lost); no locality.

Remarks

Gill (1863:169) described this species (now Pseudupeneus grandisquamis) from two specimens, one of which was “seven inches and a half long.” The only two members of this family in the ledger among the Dow material are USNM 4949 and 4950, both entered as Mullus. It is possible that these specimens represent the two syntypes, but they cannot be found and are presumed lost.

Family Polynemidae
Trichidion opercularis Gill, 1863 

    Family Polynemidae
    Trichidion opercularis Gill, 1863 

Material

USNM 4954 (lost), USNM 4955 (lost), Panama [?].

Remarks

These two lots were both entered as Trichidion opercularis, and either one could have been the holotype of this species, which was described from one specimen 11 in. in length (Gill 1863:168). The specimens cannot be found and are presumed lost. Hildebrand (1946:435) gave the type locality as Cape San Lucas, Baja California. Motomura et al. (2002:363) speculated that Hildebrand got that information from a label in the jar with the holotype, before it was lost. The specimen was reported missing as early as 1882 by Jordan & Gilbert, however, and it seems unlikely that Hildebrand ever saw it. Gill did not mention the locality in his description, and there is no evidence that Dow ever collected fishes from Baja California. Hildebrand may have confused Dow with John Xantus, who did collect fishes from Cape San Lucas. The Locality field at the top of the ledger page on which these lots appear says Panama. Presumably the entries immediately below are also Panama, but there is no explicit indication such as ditto marks or a vertical line.

Family Mugilidae
Mugil guentherii Gill, 1863 

Material

USNM 2764 (lost), no locality given; USNM 4951 (lost), Panama.

Remarks

Aside from three lots of Mugil liza (see below), the two lots listed here are the only Mugil catalogued among the Dow material. Gill (1863:169) described the species from one specimen about 10 in. long, which could have been one of these two lots. Neither can be found today, however, and they are presumed lost.

Family Ariidae
Leptarius dowii Gill, 1863 

Material

USNM 4973 (lost), Panama Bay.

Remarks

This lot is entered in the ledger as Leptarius dowii and is presumed to be the specimen described by Gill (1863:171). Gill did not explicitly state how many specimens he had, but he presented a detailed list of measurements for one specimen, which presumably was the only one he had. It cannot be found and is presumed lost.

Sciades troschelii Gill, 1863 

Material

USNM 4964 (lost), “coast.”

Remarks

There is one specimen entered in the ledger as Sciades. Gill (1863:171) described the species from a single specimen, and it may have been this one. It cannot be found and is presumed lost.

Aelurichthys panamensis Gill, 1863 

Material

USNM 4963 (lost), “coast.”

Remarks

This specimen was entered in the ledger as Aelurichthys and could represent the holotype of Aelurichthys panamensis, which was described from one specimen eight in. long (Gill 1863:172). It cannot be found and is presumed lost.

Non-Type Specimens

Family Muraenesocidae
Cynoponticus coniceps (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882) [Muraenesox coniceps]

    Family Muraenesocidae
    Cynoponticus coniceps (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882) [Muraenesox coniceps]

Material

USNM 30981 (1), Panama. Lost.

Remarks

This lot was described by Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:374) as containing “one large specimen, in poor condition.” The specimen cannot be found today and is presumed lost; it was probably discarded at some later date because of its poor condition.

Family Clupeidae
Dorosoma chavesi Meek, 1907

    Family Clupeidae
    Dorosoma chavesi Meek, 1907

Material

USNM 30965 (1, 174 mm), Panama.

Remarks

The ledger gives the locality as Panama, but this species occurs only in Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua and their tributaries. Jordan & Gilbert did not include this specimen in their account. The specimen is faded and slit dorsally but is in moderately good condition overall.

Opisthonema libertate (Günther, 1867)

    Opisthonema libertate (Günther, 1867)

Material

USNM 75062 (5, 158–175 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Not treated by Jordan & Gilbert. The specimens are in good condition. One specimen bears a paper tag with the number 5607, the significance unknown.

Family Characidae
Astyanax panamensis (Günther, 1864)

    Family Characidae
    Astyanax panamensis (Günther, 1864)

Material

USNM 55647 (1, 60 mm), Panama.

Remarks

This was not treated by Jordan & Gilbert. The specimen is limp and the fins are damaged, but it is intact. Long treated as a synonym of Astyanax fasciatus (Cuvier 1819), this species has recently been resurrected (Schmitter-Soto 2017).

Family Loricariidae
Ancistrus

    Family Loricariidae
    Ancistrus

Material

USNM 5631 (1), Panama.

Remarks

This is a dried osteological preparation. It was not treated by Jordan & Gilbert.

Family Poeciliidae
Poeciliidae

    Family Poeciliidae
    Poeciliidae

Material

USNM 31133 (2, 47–56 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Originally catalogued as Cyprinodontidae. A note in the jar says “This is a poeciliid - note 3 unbranched a. rays at front of fin, the 4th well branched; Robert R. Miller, III:9:1953.” The specimens are females, not further identifiable; they are in good condition. They were not treated by Jordan & Gilbert.

Family Exocoetidae
Hyporhamphus unifasciatus (Ranzani, 1841) [Hemiramphus poeyi]

    Family Exocoetidae
    Hyporhamphus unifasciatus (Ranzani, 1841) [Hemiramphus poeyi]

Material

USNM 30953 (2, 200–213 mm, measured from tip of snout), Panama.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:373) listed the specimens as Hemirhamphus [sic] poeyi Günther, although they recognized that the two species were very close, “if really distinct.” The specimens are in good condition. In a separate paragraph, they stated that:

Four specimens of Exocoetus, representing three species, are also in the collection, but it is questionable whether any of them really came from Panama. We are informed by Captain Dow that the specimen which became the type of Exocoetus albidactylus Gill (Proc. Ac. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1863, 167) was taken off the northern coast of Brazil, and not at Panama.

The only species they mentioned aside from albidactylus was Exocoetus dowii, which they mistakenly listed as lost. There are seven other lots of exocoetids listed in the ledger from the Dow collections. They are treated below. Judging from the remarks above, the locality of all of them is in doubt.

Cheilopogon

    Cheilopogon

Material

USNM 314980 (1, 210 mm), Panama?

Remarks

This specimen was removed from USNM 37667 (Hirundichthys volador, see above) and recatalogued. According to Collette, et al. (1992:7), this represents an undescribed species. It is in good condition.

Cheilopogon exsiliens (Linnaeus, 1771)

    Cheilopogon exsiliens (Linnaeus, 1771)

Material

USNM 30975 (1, 180 mm), Panama?

Remarks

This species does not occur on either coast of Panama, but its distribution does include Brazil. It is possible that, like the holotype of Exocoetus albidactylus, the specimen actually came from Brazil. There is some minor damage on the left side of the head, but overall the specimen is in good condition.

Exocoetus

    Exocoetus

Material

USNM 4960 (lost), no locality. USNM 4974 (lost). Panama Bay.

Remarks

Neither of these specimens can be found and are presumed lost. The locality for the first of these was not stated, although one could interpret the ledger as indicating Panama. The second came from Panama Bay.

Exocoetus obtusirostris Günther, 1866

    Exocoetus obtusirostris Günther, 1866

Material

USNM 9093 (1, 136 mm), Panama; USNM 30976 (1, 162 mm), Panama?

Remarks

The smaller specimen is intact but rather brittle and appears to have been at least partially dried at some point. The larger specimen is in good condition. The locality for USNM 9093 is stated in the ledger as Panama. The locality for USNM 30976 is given as “Panama?” This is another species known from the Atlantic but not the eastern Pacific.

Hirundichthys speculiger (Valenciennes, 1847)

    Hirundichthys speculiger (Valenciennes, 1847)

Material

USNM 30974 (1, 210 mm), Panama?

Remarks

This specimen was originally catalogued as Exocoetus affinis Günther, 1866, and later changed to Hirundichthys speculiger. The locality is given as “Panama?” This species occurs on the Pacific side of Panama but not the Atlantic side, although it also occurs off Brazil. Given the uncertainty over the origin of the exocoetids in this collection, it could have come from either Panama or Brazil. It is in good condition, and there is no doubt about the identification.

Family Mugilidae
Agonostomus monticola Bancroft, 1834 [Agonostoma nasutum]

    Family Mugilidae
    Agonostomus monticola Bancroft, 1834 [Agonostoma nasutum]

Material

USNM 30966 (1, 112 mm), Panama.

Remarks

The specimen is in good condition.

Mugil liza Valenciennes, 1836 [Mugil brasiliensis]

    Mugil liza Valenciennes, 1836 [Mugil brasiliensis]

Material

USNM 15121(6, 35–82 mm), Panama?; USNM 15122 (28, 19–27 mm), Panama?; USNM 15128 (1, 130 mm), Panama?

Remarks

These lots are among a series of specimens (USNM 15118–15129) that were catalogued as being doubtfully from Panama. The species involved, including the three lots of Mugil cited by Jordan & Gilbert, are all characteristic of the western Atlantic, not the eastern Pacific. A handwritten note in the ledger reads “All these specimens probably from Gulf of Mexico. Jordan.” The specimens in the first two lots are soft and flabby but intact; the specimen in the third lot is in good condition.

Family Holocentridae
Sargocentron suborbitale (Gill, 1863) [Holocentrum suborbitale]

    Family Holocentridae
    Sargocentron suborbitale (Gill, 1863) [Holocentrum suborbitale]

Material

USNM 2765 (4, 51–79 mm), Panama.

Remarks

The ledger lists one specimen, but there are four in the jar, as recorded by Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377). They are in good condition.

Family Echeneidae
Echeneis naucrates Linnaeus, 1758

    Family Echeneidae
    Echeneis naucrates Linnaeus, 1758

Material

USNM 30984 (1, 420 mm, measured from tip of lower jaw), Panama.

Remarks

The specimen is in good condition.

Family Scombridae
Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782 [Scomber grex]

    Family Scombridae
    Scomber japonicus Houttuyn, 1782 [Scomber grex]

Material

USNM 30998 (2, 125–135 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:374) described these as “two half-grown specimens, in poor condition.” They are in similar condition today, both of them almost separated into two pieces.

Family Carangidae
Oligoplites altus (Günther, 1868)

    Family Carangidae
    Oligoplites altus (Günther, 1868)

Material

USNM 30738 (1), Panama; USNM 30969 (1), Panama. Lost.

Remarks

These specimens cannot be found and are presumed lost. The names were changed in the ledger to Oligoplites mundus Jordan & Starks, 1898, but they are not shelved under that name, either. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:374) treated only USNM 30969, which was originally entered as Scomberoides altus. They described it as a “young specimen, in good condition.” They did not mention USNM 30738, which was originally catalogued in the ledger as Oligoplites altus. A note in the ledger says “old;” it was probably discarded long ago.

Trachinotus kennedyi Steindachner, 1876 [Trachynotus ovatus]

    Trachinotus kennedyi Steindachner, 1876 [Trachynotus ovatus]

Material

USNM 30970 (1, 117 mm FL), Panama.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:375) identified this specimen as Trachinotus ovatus (Linnaeus 1758), an eastern Atlantic species, which they also recorded from the western Atlantic (possibly confusing it with T. falcatus). They noted some differences between USNM 30970 and a specimen from Cuba. It has been reidentified as T. kennedyi. It is in good condition.

Trachinotus falcatus (Linnaeus, 1758) [Trachynotus ovatus]

    Trachinotus falcatus (Linnaeus, 1758) [Trachynotus ovatus]

Material

USNM 15123 (4, 21–28 mm FL), Panama [?].

Remarks

This is one of a series of lots (USNM 15118–15129) noted in the ledger as being from Panama. However, a handwritten note in the margin states: “All these specimens probably from Gulf of Mexico. Jordan.” Indeed, several of the species in this series, including Fundulus grandis Baird & Girard, 1853, Fundulus majalis (Walbaum 1792), Lagodon rhomboides (Linnaeus 1766), and Mugil brasiliensis (=M. liza, see above), do not inhabit the eastern Pacific. Given the revised locality, the specimens can readily be identified as Trachinotus falcatus. The specimens are small and the fins are a bit frayed, but they are in reasonably good condition.

Trachinotus rhodopus Gill, 1863 

Material

USNM 30747 (2, 113–125 mm FL), Panama; USNM 30968 (1, 131 mm FL), Panama.

Remarks

These lots were not treated by Jordan & Gilbert. They were originally catalogued as Trachynotus [sic] fasciatus Gill, 1863, a synonym of T. rhodopus. The specimens are faded but intact, in moderately good condition.

Hemicaranx leucurus Günther, 1864 [Caranx atrimanus]

    Hemicaranx leucurus Günther, 1864 [Caranx atrimanus]

Material

USNM 30745 (1, 122 mm FL), Panama.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:375) referred to this as Caranx atrimanus, a species they had described earlier (Jordan & Gilbert 1882b:308), which is now considered a synonym of H. leucurus. The specimen is in good condition.

Family Serranidae
Alphestes multiguttatus (Günther, 1867)

    Family Serranidae
    Alphestes multiguttatus (Günther, 1867)

Material

USNM 30954 (1, 115 mm), Panama; USNM 30988 (1, 179 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Both specimens are in good condition.

Family Centropomidae
Centropomus unionensis Bocourt, 1868

    Family Centropomidae
    Centropomus unionensis Bocourt, 1868

Material

USNM 30991 (1, 190 mm), Panama.

Remarks

The specimen is in good condition.

Family Apogonidae
Apogon dovii Günther, 1862

    Family Apogonidae
    Apogon dovii Günther, 1862

Material

USNM 30990 (2, 55–56 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:376) noted that these specimens were “in bad condition.” That is a slight exaggeration. The specimens are soft-bodied and flabby, but they are intact and retain their characters. A remnant of the spot on the caudal peduncle remains.

Family Polynemidae
Polydactylus approximans (Lay & Bennett, 1839) [Polynemus approximans]

    Family Polynemidae
    Polydactylus approximans (Lay & Bennett, 1839) [Polynemus approximans]

Material

USNM 15129 (1, 203 mm), Panama.

Remarks

The specimen is in good condition.

Family Sciaenidae
Stellifer oscitans (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882) [Sciaena oscitans]

    Family Sciaenidae
    Stellifer oscitans (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882) [Sciaena oscitans]

Material

USNM 30967 (2, 108–141 mm), Panama.

Remarks

According to the ledger, there are three specimens in this lot, and Jordan & Gilbert stated “three fine specimens, two of them adult.” Only two specimens can be found today, however. The fate of the third specimen is unknown. The two remaining specimens are in good condition.

Family Acanthuridae
Acanthurus xanthopterus Valenciennes, 1835 [Acanthurus tractus]

    Family Acanthuridae
    Acanthurus xanthopterus Valenciennes, 1835 [Acanthurus tractus]

Material

USNM 30992 (1, 100 mm), Panama.

Remarks

The specimen is in good condition but faded. Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377) treated it as Acanthurus tractus Poey, 1860, an Atlantic species.

Family Gerreidae
Eugerres lineatus (Humboldt, 1821) [Gerres lineatus]

    Family Gerreidae
    Eugerres lineatus (Humboldt, 1821) [Gerres lineatus]

Material

USNM 30982 (2, 170–178 mm), freshwater lake, Acapulco [Mexico].

Remarks

The specimens are in good condition.

Family Pomacentridae
Abudefduf declivifrons (Gill, 1862)? [Glyphidodon declivifrons]

    Family Pomacentridae
    Abudefduf declivifrons (Gill, 1862)? [Glyphidodon declivifrons]

Material

USNM 2757 (1?), USNM 2758 (lost), USNM 2759 (1, 18), USNM 2760 (lost), locality not stated.

Remarks

These four lots were apparently catalogued at the same time, but only USNM 2759 can unambiguously be located today; it is in relatively good condition. Jordan & Gilbert mentioned only USNM 2757, which contained one specimen. As explained above, however, the jar labeled USNM 2757 was found to contain 13 specimens when examined in 1984. It is likely that one of these specimens is USNM 2757, but it is impossible to tell which one. The Locality field for these lots in the ledger is blank, but the space immediately above says Realejo [Nicaragua], and it is possible that the lots below also came from there. The remaining two lots cannot be found and may have been lost or discarded before Jordan & Gilbert examined the collection. The single surviving specimen (USNM 2759) is very small, but the suborbital appears distinct from the preopercular, a character that agrees with A. declivifrons rather than the closely related A. concolor. Both species apparently occur off Central America (see above under A. concolor).

Abudefduf troschelii (Gill, 1862) [Glyphidodon saxatilis]

    Abudefduf troschelii (Gill, 1862) [Glyphidodon saxatilis]

Material

USNM 4360 (5, 24–45 mm), San Salvador; USNM 30964 (1, 60 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377) stated that USNM 4360 (described as “young specimens,” though without giving the number) came from San Salvador. A note in the ledger states “from 2756,” which was catalogued as Pomacentrus, and according to the ledger, came from Nicaragua (see below). It is hard to know how to interpret this. Perhaps 2756 originally contained more than one species, which were subsequently separated. They did not mention USNM 30964, although it appears to be the same species. This lot also bears the number 951, the significance of which is unknown. On the assumption that USNM 30964 came from the Pacific side of Panama, it is assigned to A. troschelii, the eastern Pacific counterpart of the Atlantic A. saxatilis (Linnaeus, 1758). All of the specimens are in good condition.

Microspathodon dorsalis (Gill, 1862) [Pomacentrus quadrigutta]

    Microspathodon dorsalis (Gill, 1862) [Pomacentrus quadrigutta]

Material

USNM 4365 (1, 33 mm), San Salvador.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377) assigned this specimen to Pomacentrus quadrigutta Gill, 1862, a synonym of Microspathodon dorsalis, based on its coloration. The specimen is in fairly good condition, but the color pattern has faded.

Stegastes acapulcoensis (Fowler, 1944) [Pomacentrus rectifraenum]

    Stegastes acapulcoensis (Fowler, 1944) [Pomacentrus rectifraenum]

Material

USNM 30962 (3, 22–59 mm), San Salvador.

Remarks

Two species of Stegastes occur off El Salvador, S. acapulcoensis and S. flavilatus (Gill 1862). Based on the number of soft rays in the dorsal (15) and anal (13) fins, these specimens belong to S. acapulcoensis (Allen & Robertson 1994). Stegastes rectifraenum (Gill 1862) does not occur south of the Revillagigedo Islands off central Mexico (Allen & Robertson 1994; Fourriére et al. 2016).

Family Cichlidae
Parachromis friedrichsthalii (Heckel, 1840)

    Family Cichlidae
    Parachromis friedrichsthalii (Heckel, 1840)

Material

USNM 131962 (3, 95–101 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Originally catalogued as Cichlasoma. Not treated by Jordan & Gilbert. The specimens are faded and flabby but intact.

Family Labridae
Bodianus diplotaenia (Gill, 1862)

Material

USNM 31366 (1), Panama. Lost.

Remarks

This was originally entered in the ledger as Harpe pectoralis, a synonym. The specimen was present as recently as 1999, when it was entered into the electronic database, but it could not be found during the preparation of this paper.

Family Scorpaenidae
Scorpaena plumieri Bloch, 1789

    Family Scorpaenidae
    Scorpaena plumieri Bloch, 1789

Material

Lost.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert reported “one specimen in bad condition, apparently belonging to this species.” No such specimen can be found, and there is no record of it in the ledger. If it were in such bad condition, it may have been discarded without being catalogued.

Family Gobiidae
Bathygobius andrei (Sauvage, 1880)

    Family Gobiidae
    Bathygobius andrei (Sauvage, 1880)

Material

USNM 31026 (1, 108 mm), Panama.

Remarks

This was originally catalogued as Gobius soporator (Valenciennes, 1837). Although Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377) listed USNM 2761 (see above under Bathygobius ramosus), also catalogued as Gobius soporator, they did not mention the present specimen. It is in good condition.

Family Eleotridae
Gobiomorus dormitor Lacepède, 1800 [Phylypnus lateralis]

    Family Eleotridae
    Gobiomorus dormitor Lacepède, 1800 [Phylypnus lateralis]

Material

USNM 30994 (1, 127 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377) reported “several specimens” from this lot, but only one can be found today. The ledger does not give the number of specimens. The remaining specimen is in good condition.

Gobiomorus maculatus (Günther, 1859)

    Gobiomorus maculatus (Günther, 1859)

Material

USNM 30955 (1, 142 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert did not treat this specimen. It is in good condition.

Guavina guavina (Valenciennes, 1837)

    Guavina guavina (Valenciennes, 1837)

Material

USNM 30999 (1), Central America. Lost.

Remarks

Originally catalogued as Eleotris guavina, it could not be found during the preparation of this paper, although it was present as recently as 1998, when it was entered into the electronic database. The collector is listed as Capt. Dow, but with a question mark after it. Jordan & Gilbert did not mention this specimen.

Family Labrisomidae
Dialommus macrocephalus (Günther, 1861) [Clinus macrocephalus]

    Family Labrisomidae
    Dialommus macrocephalus (Günther, 1861) [Clinus macrocephalus]

Material

USNM 30956 (2, 95–106 mm), Panama.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377) described these specimens as “in bad condition,” but that is somewhat exaggerated. Both specimens are soft and flabby but intact. The scales are missing, but the scale pockets are quite prominent and indicate where the scales had been.

Family Diodontidae
Diodon liturosus Shaw, 1804

    Family Diodontidae
    Diodon liturosus Shaw, 1804

Material

USNM 9876 (1), Panama. Lost.

Remarks

Jordan & Gilbert (1882c:377) reported “one young specimen, in good condition,” but it cannot be found today. It was originally catalogued as Diodon novemmaculatus Cuvier, 1818, a synonym of D. hystrix Linnaeus, 1758, but it cannot be found under those names either.

Lost Specimens

As mentioned above, 50 entries in the ledgers attributed to Dow cannot be located and are presumed lost. Some of these have been covered above under the individual species. The remaining specimens are listed in Table 1. The identity and location are those given in the ledger.

Table 1

Specimens that cannot be located and are presumed lost.

Specimens that cannot be located and are presumed lost.
Specimens that cannot be located and are presumed lost.

Acknowledgments

M. Sabaj-Pérez and K. Luckenbill (Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia) provided information on specimens in their collection. B. Collette (Smithsonian Institution) and I. Shakhovskoy (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences) advised on the nomenclatural status of Exocoetus dowii. A. Graham (CSIRO, Hobart), A. Hay (Australian Museum, Sydney), and J. Johnson (Queensland Museum, Brisbane) attempted to find the missing syntype of Joturus stipes. Laboratory facilities and access to collections were provided by the Smithsonian Institution.

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