Lines, stripes, bars, and bands are prominent characteristics used in the identification of species, especially fishes, and are a frequent component in the make-up of scientific names of aquatic animals.
Although ichthyology has general definitions regarding terms such as band, bar, stripe, and line, these can sometimes appear confusing; similarly the Latin and Greek words appearing in compound names can be used inconsistently, with different authors inferring different meanings, and are not reliable guides to orientation, vertical or horizontal, of the markings that they refer to.
As a general guide:
Stripe – a horizontal or longitudinal marking in the form of a line.
Bar – a vertical or diagonal marking in the form of a line.
Band – any linear marking that contrasts with its immediate surroundings; a vertical band is a bar, a horizontal band is a stripe; a vertical marking that may encircle the body.
Line – a thin mark of any orientation.
|cinctus, -a||Latin, cingo||a girdle, belt; gird, wreathe, crown||Chrysiptera tricincta (Allen & Randall, 1974), the Threeband damselfish.|
|fasciatus, -a, -um||Latin, fascia||a band, bandage, swathe, girth, fillet; lined, striped||Eviota bifasciata Lachner & Karnella, 1980, the Twostripe Eviota|
|Greek||that which is drawn, stroke of a pen, a line; lined||Meiacanthus grammistes (Valenciennes, 1836), the Striped poison-fang blenny|
|lineatus, -a, -um |
|Latin, linea||line; lined, striped||Chromis lineata Fowler & Bean, 1928, the Lined chromis|
|striatus, -a, -um||Latin, strio||having furrows or channels, grooved, fluted, striated; striped||Pomacanthus sexstriatus (Cuvier, 1831), the Sixbar angelfish|
|band, hair-band, ribbon, fillet||Pseudocheilinus hexataenia (Bleeker, 1857), the Sixline wrasse|
|virgatus||Latin||made of twigs; striped||Siganus virgatus (Valenciennes, 1835), the Barhead spinefoot|
|vittatus, -a, -um||Latin||bound with a fillet, chapleted, wreathed; with bands or stripes of colour, striped||Thalassoma quinquevittatum (Lay & Bennett, 1839),
the Fivestripe wrasse
|Latin, zonus||belt, girdle, zone||Pomacanthus zonipectus (Gill, 1862), the Cortez angelfish|
|zoster-||Greek, zoster||belt, girdle||Archamia zosterophora (Bleeker, 1856), the Blackbelted cardinalfish|