A key to the stromateoid fishes
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Our primary purpose in preparing "A Key to the Stromateoid Fishes" is to provide field workers and curators with a convenient and concise aid for the identification of the diverse species in this somewhat difficult group. Secondarily, we hope to present, through the keys, a summary of the present state of our knowledge of these fishes, and to indicate areas where further investigation is needed. The keys which compose this handbook have been derived from several sources. Some are slightly modified from already published or about-to-be-published sources. Others form a part of manuscripts in preparation. A third group of keys has been constructed from published species descriptions and our own often meagre data. The keys are intended primarily for larger specimens. Small stromateoids are particularly confusing, and it is not our purpose to treat them here. The well-known and marked allometric growth in stromateoids remains a problem, and those who use these keys should be aware that the body proportions of very large and/or very small specimens can fall well outside the limits here set. We expect and hope for corrections and improvements to the keys, and have left them double-spaced so comments may be written in by users. We have not attempted to settle nomenclatural problems, but have used the oldest name we know of when a choice is necessary. Neither have we gone into the problem of synonymy to any great extent. In some cases we have approached this problem by including two names under one couplet in a key. The choice of which name to employ is thus passed on to the user.
This second edition of "A Key to the Stromateoid Fishes" is a partially up-dated version of the original (W.H.O.I. Ref. No. 69-70, September 1969).