Family Mordaciidae - Southern topeyed lampreys
No. in FishBase
Genera : 1 | Species : 3 Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes
Fresh : Yes | Brackish : Yes | Marine : Yes
  First Fossil Record
Monogeneric family.
Distribution: South-East Australia (2 spp.) and Chile (1 sp.).
Size; larvae (ammocoete) max 16 cm, adults max 54 cm.
Habitat and ecology: Marine species anadromous. Parasitic or non-parasitic, the latter restricted to freshwater. One species pair, with one species parasitic, and the other non-parasitic.
The larval (ammocoete) stage is filter feeding, whereas the adult uses the sucker shaped mouth to attach to other fishes and feeds off the wound.
Description: Jawless vertebrates with cartilaginous skeleton and notochord. Eel-like in shape; scales and paired fins absent; 2 dorsal fins; second dorsal fin confluent with caudal fin in ammocoetes; adults with well developed eyes; pouch-like gills not supported by gill arches; corneous teeth on the circular oral disk and the tongue; oral papillae absent from the anterior as well as the posterior edges of the oral disc, but present along the lateral edges; all oral papillae of uniform size; oral fimbriae absent; 2 triangular and tricuspid supraoral laminae; the multicuspid radial plates found in the anterior, lateral and posterior fields of the oral disc in prespawning (immature) adults break down and leave only individual unicuspid teeth in spawning (mature) adults; labial teeth pointed; transverse lingual lamina w-shaped in prespawning individuals; dorsal and ventral nerve roots separated; nasohypophyseal sac has an external opening only; 3 buccal glands; eyes dorsolateral in immature adults and dorsal in mature adults; intestinal tract with spiral valve and cilia; cloaca under the posterior half of the second dorsal fin in ammocoetes and adults.
Reproduction: Sexes separate; eggs numerous (thousands), small and not yolky, buried in spawning redds excavated in clean, hard bottoms (litophilous broodhiders). Non-parasitic species breed immediately after metamorphosis. Parents die after spawning. The larval (ammocoetes) stage lives for several years in freshwater before undergoing a radical metamorphosis and then as a rule returns to the sea.
Lampreys (together with hagfishes) are the most basal extant vertebrates. Definite fossil records date back to the upper Carboniferous, about 280 million years ago (Ref. 12268). Also, from the Cretaceous of China ,125 million years ago and from the Devonian of South Africa, 360 million years ago (Ref. 89241).
Ammocoetes and adults are used as bait in some areas. A number of species are used as food.
Classification: Previously a subfamily of Petromyzontidae.
  Reproductive guild
  Typical activity level
  Main Ref.
  Deep Fin Classification

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[ e.g. 9948]
[ e.g. cephalopods]

Species/Synonymy list for the family Mordaciidae as currently in FishBase

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The list below must not be used as an authority reference synonymy list like those found in scientific published revisions, which must be the source to be used and cited eventually when they exist.

Rather, it reflects the current content of FishBase, and the progress with respect to synchronization with the Catalog of Fishes. However, we think it can be useful for users to assess the quality of information in FishBase, to start new work on the family, or to cross-check with other lists.

But we appreciate to be cited in publications when this list has been of any working value. In particular, for published scientific, we suggest then to cite it in the Material and Method section as a useful tool to conduct the research, but again, not as a taxonomic or nomenclatural authority reference.

Unless it is explicitly precised, the list is not complete, please search all original names published for the family in the Catalog of Fishes (genera, species), including those with uncertain or unknown status, that are not included in FishBase when they are not attached to a valid species.

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The list ordered as follows:

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Scientifc name Status Senior/Junior synonym Combination
Mordacia mordax (Richardson, 1846)
Petromyzon mordax Richardson, 1846
Mordacia lapicida (Gray, 1851)
! Petromyzon anwandteri Philippi, 1863
Petromyzon acutidens Philippi, 1865
Mordacia praecox Potter, 1968
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