Scientific Name: – Coregonus
Coregonus is a diverse genus of fish in the salmon family (Salmonidae). The type species is Coregonus lavaretus. The Coregonus species are known as whitefishes. The genus contains at least 68 described extant taxa, but the true number of species is a matter of debate.
Several species, including the Arctic cisco (C. autumnalis), the Bering cisco (C. laurettae), and the least cisco (C. sardinella) are anadromous, moving between salt water and fresh water.
The genus was previously subdivided into two subgenera Coregonus (“true whitefishes”) and Leucichthys (“ciscoes”), Coregonus comprising taxa with sub-terminal mouth and usually a benthic feeding habit, Leucichthys those with terminal or supra-terminal mouth and usually a pelagic plankton-feeding habit. This classification is not natural however: based on molecular data, ciscoes comprise two distinct lineages within the genus. Moreover, the genus Stenodus is not phylogenetically distinct from Coregonus.
Many whitefish species or ecotypes, especially from the Great Lakes and the Alpine lakes of Europe, have gone extinct over the past century or are endangered. All Coregonus species are protected under appendix III of the Bern Convention.