Last updated

Temporal range: Early Cretaceous to present(molecular clock)
Pholidichthys leucotaenia 1.jpg
Pholidichthys leucotaenia , the convict blenny
Freshwater angelfish biodome.jpg
Pterophyllum scalare , the freshwater angelfish, a cichlid
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
(unranked): Ovalentaria
Order: Cichliformes
R. Betancur-R et al. 2013
Type species
Cichla ocellaris
Bloch & Schneider, 1801

Cichliformes /ˈsɪklɪfɔːrmz/ is an order of fishes. Its members were previously classified under the order Perciformes, but now many authorities consider it to be an independent order within the subseries Ovalentaria.


There are two families within the Cichliformes; the convict blennies are a small family consisting of a single genus and two species, while the cichlids are one of the largest vertebrate families with over 202 genera and more than 1700 species. It is molecular data which placed the two seemingly dissimilar families in the same taxon. [1]

The families are:

Related Research Articles

Cichlid Family of fishes

Cichlids are fish from the family Cichlidae in the order Cichliformes. Cichlids were traditionally classed in a suborder, the Labroidei, along with the wrasses (Labridae), in the order Perciformes, but molecular studies have contradicted this grouping. The closest living relative of cichlids is probably the convict blenny, and both families are classified in the 5th edition of Fishes of the World as the two families in the Cichliformes, part of the subseries Ovalentaria. This family is both large and diverse. At least 1,650 species have been scientifically described, making it one of the largest vertebrate families. New species are discovered annually, and many species remain undescribed. The actual number of species is therefore unknown, with estimates varying between 2,000 and 3,000.

<i>Neolamprologus brichardi</i> Species of fish

Neolamprologus brichardi is a species of cichlid endemic to the alkaline waters of Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. It is a popular aquarium fish kept in the fishkeeping hobby, where it is known under a variety of common names including Princess cichlid, Princess of Burundi, Lyretail cichlid, Fairy cichlid and Brichard's lamprologus. In addition, the species is also the subject of numerous studies on fish behaviour. It is closely related to N. pulcher from the southern half of Lake Tanganyika and some have recommended merging the two into a single species.

Centriscidae Family of fishes

The Centriscidae are a family of fishes from the order Syngnathiformes which includes the snipefishes, shrimpfishes, and bellowfishes. A small family, consisting of only about a dozen marine species, they are of an unusual appearance, as reflected by their common names. The species in this family are restricted to relatively shallow, tropical parts of the Indo-Pacific.

Dottyback Family of fishes

The dottybacks are a family, Pseudochromidae, of fishes which were formerly classified in the order Perciformes, but this has been revised and the family is regarded as of uncertain affinities, or incertae sedis within the Ovalentaria, a clade within the Percomorpha. Around 152 species belong to this family.

<i>Grammatotria</i> Genus of fishes

Grammatotria lemairii is a species of cichlid endemic to Lake Tanganyika in East Africa where it prefers areas with sandy substrates. This species can reach a length of 26 centimetres (10 in) TL. It is currently the only known member of its genus. The species is occasionally kept as an aquarium fish. The specific name honours Lieutenant Charles Lemaire (1863-1925) who was the leader of the Congo Free State Expedition, which collected specimens of fishes at Lake Tanganyika, including the type of G. lemairii.

<i>Pseudotropheus johannii</i> Species of fish

Pseudotropheus johannii or the bluegray mbuna is an African freshwater fish from the family Cichlidae.

Aristochromis christyi is a species of fish in the family Cichlidae, which is endemic to Lake Malawi in Africa. It is the only known member of its genus.

Astatotilapia flaviijosephi, the Jordan mouthbrooder, is a vulnerable species of freshwater fish in the family Cichlidae (cichlids). It is found in the central Jordan River system, including Lake Tiberias (Kinneret), in Israel, Jordan and Syria, making it the only haplochromine cichlid to naturally range outside of Africa. This species is too small to be of significant importance to fisheries, unlike the only other cichlids native to the Levant, the economically important tilapias.

Pearl of Likoma Species of fish

The Pearl of Likoma is a species of fish in the family Cichlidae endemic to Lake Malawi where it is native to rocky areas around Likoma Island and it has been introduced to Thumbi West Island. This species can reach a length of 10 centimetres (3.9 in) TL. It can also be found in the aquarium trade. Males are blue, while females are a greenish blue with rows of yellowish spots and shiny gills. They feed on crustaceans, insects, and larvae.

Damba Species of fish

The damba is a species of cichlid.

<i>Ptychochromis grandidieri</i> Species of fish

Ptychochromis grandidieri is a species of fish in the family Cichlidae endemic to river basins along a large part of the eastern coast of Madagascar, although it has been recorded as far as 100 km (62 mi) inland. Uniquely in the genus Ptychochromis, this species also occurs in brackish water. It reaches 35cm in standard length. It shares a large part of its range with a cichlid from another genus, Paretroplus polyactis. The specific name honours Alfred Grandidier (1836-1921), the French naturalist and explorer who, with Henri Joseph Léon Humblot (1852-1914), collected the type.

Ptychochrominae Subfamily of fishes

The Ptychochrominae are a subfamily in the cichlid family of fish. It includes about 14 species. They are restricted to lakes and rivers in Madagascar, and the majority are threatened. Most cichlid genera native to Madagascar are included in this subfamily; the only exceptions are Paretroplus and Paratilapia.

<i>Pholidichthys leucotaenia</i> Species of fish

Pholidichthys leucotaenia, commonly known as the convict blenny/goby or the engineer blenny/goby, is a marine fish from the west-central Pacific Ocean. Despite its common names, it is neither a blenny nor a goby, but is in fact one of two species in the family Pholidichthyidae.

<i>Apistogramma agassizii</i> Species of fish

Apistogramma agassizii is the scientific name for the Agassiz's dwarf cichlid, a fish that occurs in many Southern tributaries of the Amazon river. Its specific name honours the Swiss-American zoologist and geologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873).

<i>Pholidichthys</i> Genus of fishes

Pholidichthys is a genus of ray-finned fish which consists of two species of the tropical Pacific Ocean. It is the only genus in the family Pholidichthyidae, one of two families in the order Cichliformes.

Ptychochromis ernestmagnusi is a species of fish cichlid only known from the Mananara du Nord River in northeastern Madagascar, but it is probably more widespread in that region. If so, it likely occurs in the Mananara-Nord Biosphere Reserve, which would give it a level of protection. It can reach 14.7 cm (5.8 in) in standard length. The specific name honours Ernest Magnus (1908-1983) who was the uncle of the German-American marine biologist and ichthyologist Rudolf Arndt who gave generous support to the author's research, at the request of Anrdt's family, whose “generous gift” supported the authors’ research. Magnus played an important part in assisting the Arndt family to survive in Berlin after the Second World War and then emigrate to New York City in 1950, by giving them "food, clothing, shelter, love, many kindnesses and moral support".

Rondonacara hoehnei is a species of cichlid fish of the subfamily Cichlinae. This species is endemic to the upper das Mortes River basin in the Araguaia drainage of central Brazil. This species is the only known member of its genus, but it was formerly included in Aequidens. Although not yet rated by the IUCN, it has been suggested that it is seriously threatened and should be considered critically endangered. The specific name honour the collector of the type specimen, the Brazilian botanist Frederico Carlos Hoehne (1882-1959).

Callionymiformes Order of fishes

Callionymiformes is an order of bony fish containing two families, the dragonets Callionymidae and the Draconettidae. In some taxonomies these families make up the suborder Callionymoidei of the wider grouping known as Perciformes, Nelson (2016) recognised the order but subsequent workers have suggested that if Callionymiformes is recognised as an order then the order Syngnathiformes is rendered paraphyletic and include Callionmyoidei within that taxon.

Ovalentaria Clade of fishes

Ovalentaria is a clade of ray-finned fishes within the Percomorpha, referred to as a subseries. It is made up of a group of fish families which are referred to in Fishes of the World's fifth edition as incertae sedis, as well as the orders Mugiliformes, Cichliformes, and Blenniiformes. It was named by W. L. Smith and T. J. Near in Wainwright et al. (2012) based on a molecular phylogeny, but the authors suggested that the group was united by the presence of demersal eggs that are attached to a substrate. Some authors have used the ordinal name Stiassnyiformes for a clade including Mugiloidei, Plesiopidae, Blenniiformes, Atherinomorpha, and Cichlidae, and this grouping does appear to be monophyletic.

Biotodoma wavrini, the Orinoco eartheater, is a species of cichlid in the tribe Geophagini, part of the American cichlid subfamily Cichlinae. It is found in the middle and upper Rio Negro drainage in Brazil and Venezuela, and in the Orinoco River basin in Colombia and Venezuela. Its specific name honours the Belgian aristocrat, ethnologist and explorer Marquis Robert de Wavrin de Villers-au-Tertre (1888–1971), who collected the type specimen in 1935.


  1. J. S. Nelson; T. C. Grande; M. V. H. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). Wiley. p. 752. ISBN   978-1-118-34233-6.
  2. Bailly N, ed. (2017). "Pholidichthyidae Jordan, 1896". FishBase . World Register of Marine Species . Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  3. Bailly N, ed. (2015). "Cichlidae Bonaparte, 1835". FishBase . World Register of Marine Species . Retrieved 5 November 2018.