I would propse that Don's statement: "So "trout" are not a natural group
in the salmonids or salmon family" is misleading and incorrect. Indeed
several "trout" species are in fact salmonids both taxonimically and by
common use (e.g., steelhead trout, golden trout, native char such as bull
The separation of the ancient Salmo progrenitor in to an Atlantic Ocean
group (Salmo) and a Pacific Ocean group (Oncorhynchus) probably
occurred by mid-Miocene times about 15 million years ago (Kendall and
Behnke), however, Behnke-1992 reports that the family Salmonidae
evolved into three subfamilies-Salmonidae (trout and salmon). Therefore,
including trout and salmon in the family Salmonidae is much more
appropriate than excluding them on a wholesale basis.
While Don is correct in his "sea trout" example, and in reference to
Altlantic (=Salmo) the "trout" statement is incorrect as inferred.
>>> Don McAllister <[log in to unmask]> 05/02/97 01:14pm >>>
Gary Christofferson wrote:
> Can someone please tell if Atlantic Salmon are trout or salmon.
Atlantic salmon belong to the same genus as brown trout, Salmo.
Pacific salmon, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout, and relatives are now
in the genus Oncorhynchus.
So "trout" are not a natural group in the salmonids or salmon family.
There are also sea trout and various other "trout" species which are not
salmonids at all. Common names are not a good guide to relationships.