Domain: Eukarya~ Eukaryotic organisms which include plants, animals, fungi, and protists have membrane bound organelles, a plasma membrane, and a true nucleus.
Phylum: Chordata~ Chordates have five unique characteristics which define them as a member of this phylum. During some stage of development all chordates have a notochord, pharyngeal pouches, postanal tail, thyroid gland, and a dorsal, tubular nerve chord.
Class: Actinopterygii~ Members of this class are also known as the ray-finned fishes. They are bony fishes (in other words not cartilaginous fishes) with fins that are webs of skin supported by bony spines.
Order: Perciformes~ Perciformes are perch-like fish with one spine and can have up to five soft rays. Their dorsal and anal fins are spiny along the anterior portion and soft-rayed along the posterior portion.
Family: Sciaenidae~ Sciaenidae is a unique family in which the members can make a drumming noise by resonating their swim bladder with special muscles. Members are characterized by a long dorsal fin, large otoliths, and a distinct notch separating the spinous and soft portions of the dorsal fin.
Genus: Aplodinotus~ Only one species can claim to be a member of this genus and that is the Freshwater Drum or Aplodinotus grunniens.
Species: Aplodinotus grunniens~ The Freshwater Drum fish also known as the croaker, drum, sheepshead, grunt, etc. is the only member of its family found in a freshwater habitat! "Grunniens" is latin and means grunting which references the drum's unique ability to make sound.