Fishes are the largest and most diverse group of vertebrate animals, with an estimated 25,000 extant species (Nelson 1994), about equal to the number of all other vertebrates combined. In Australia, they are found in almost all aquatic habitats. The first fish volume of the "Zoological Catalogue of Australia" was published in 1989 (Paxton et al. 1989). In that work, now revised and comprising the "Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Vols 35.1. 35.2 and 35.3", an estimated number of 3,600 species of fishes was given for Australia. We now know this figure under-estimated the Australian fauna by over 20 per cent. Currently, the list of known species stands at 4,368 described species and approximately 300 species of uncertain identity. In total 2,048 species, 637 genera and 99 families are included in this volume. The purpose of this work is to deliver an authoritative list of fish names and a brief summary of ecological, distributional and bibliographic information for use by other fish taxonomists, fishery personnel, government agencies, etc.
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