We have isolated a novel opsin from the pineal complex of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and from the brain of the puffer fish (Fugu rubripes). These extra-retinal opsins share approximately 74% identity at the nucleotide and amino acid level with rod-opsins from the retina of these species. By PCR, we have determined that the novel rod-like opsin is not expressed in the salmon retina, and the retinal rod-opsin is not expressed in the salmon pineal. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the rod-like opsins arose from a gene duplication event approximately 205 million years ago, a time of considerable adaptive radiation of the bony fish. In view of the large differences in the coding sequences of the pineal/brain rod-like opsins, their extra-retinal sites of expression, and phylogenetic position we have termed these novel opsins 'extra-retinal rod-like opsins' (ERrod-like opsins). We speculate that the differences between retinal rod-opsins and ERrod-like opsins have arisen from their differing photosensory roles and/or genetic drift after the gene duplication event in the Triassic.