All available genus- and family-group names of the adephagan family Dytiscidae Leach published before 31 December 1988 are listed. Names proposed for fossil taxa are listed separately. Given for each genus-group name are: original citation, type species with fixation, and current status. Incorrect spellings, invalid type designations etc. are noted. Each family-group name is presented with its original citation, spelling and status, together with its type genus and current status. Type species are designated for: Graphothorax Motschulsky, 1853, Hydrocoptus Motschulsky, 1853, Scutopterus Dejean, 1833, Scytodytes Seidlitz, 1887, Trochalus Dejean, 1833, and Xanthodytes Seidlitz, 1887. The names of the subgenera of Cybister Curtis, 1827, are revised. As previous type fixations for Hydrocoptus Motschulsky, 1853, are invalid the noterid genus Hydrocoptus sensu Sharp, 1882, takes the name Neohydrocoptus Satô, 1972. The subgenus Vathydrus Guignot, 1954, is a junior subjective synonym of Hydrovatus (s.str.) as the type species of the genus is Hyphydrus cuspidatus Kunze, 1818. Scutopterus Dejean, 1833, is a senior subjective synonym of Meladema Laporte, 1835, that should be suppressed because it is not in use. This is also true for Leucorea Laporte, 1835, an unused senior objective synonym of Vatellus Aubé, 1837. To support stability we suggest that Thermonetus should be considered an invalid original spelling of Thermonectus Dejean, 1833.