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Rose fish
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Superorder: Acanthopterygii
Clade: Percomorpha
Cope, 1871

See text

  • Percomorphaceae Betancur-Rodriguez et al., 2013
  • Acanthopteri

Percomorpha (from Latin perca  'perch',and Ancient Greek μορφή (morphḗ) 'shape, appearance') is a large clade of ray-finned fish that includes the tuna, seahorses, gobies, cichlids, flatfish, wrasse, perches, anglerfish, and pufferfish. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]



Percomorpha are the most diverse group of teleost fish today. Teleosts, and percomorphs in particular, thrived during the Cenozoic era. Fossil evidence shows that there was a major increase in size and abundance of teleosts immediately after the mass extinction event at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary ca. 65 Ma ago. [6]

Evolution of ray-finned fishes, Actinopterygii, from the Devonian to the present as a spindle diagram. The width of the spindles are proportional to the number of families as a rough estimate of diversity. The diagram is based on Benton, M. J. (2005) Vertebrate Palaeontology, Blackwell, 3rd edition, Fig 7.13 on page 185. Evolution of ray-finned fish.png
Evolution of ray-finned fishes, Actinopterygii, from the Devonian to the present as a spindle diagram. The width of the spindles are proportional to the number of families as a rough estimate of diversity. The diagram is based on Benton, M. J. (2005) Vertebrate Palaeontology, Blackwell, 3rd edition, Fig 7.13 on page 185.


The two cladograms below are based on Betancur-R et al., 2017. [4] Percomorphs are a clade of teleost fishes. The first cladogram shows the interrelationsships of percomorphs with other living groups of teleosts.


Elopomorpha (Elopiformes, Albuliformes, Notacanthiformes, Anguilliformes) Conger conger Gervais.jpg


Osteoglossomorpha (Hiodontiformes, Osteoglossiformes) Osteoglossum bicirrhosum (white background).jpg


Clupei (Clupeiformes) Clupea harengus.png

Alepocephali (Alepocephaliformes) Alepocephalus rostratus Gervais.jpg

Ostariophysi (Gonorynchiformes, Cypriniformes, Characiformes, Gymnotiformes, Siluriformes) Black bullhead fish (white background).jpg


Lepidogalaxiiformes (salamanderfish)

Protacanthopterygii (Argentiniformes, Galaxiiformes, Esociformes, Salmoniformes) Salmo salar flipped.jpg

Stomiati (Stomiiformes, Osmeriformes) Southern Pacific fishes illustrations by F.E. Clarke 100 1.jpg


Ateleopodidae (jellynoses) Ijimaia plicatellus1.jpg


Aulopiformes (lizardfish) Aulopus filamentosus.jpg


Myctophiformes (lanternfish) Myctophum punctatum1.jpg


Lampripterygii (Lampriformes) Lampris guttatus.png

Paracanthopterygii (Percopsiformes, Zeiformes, Stylephoriformes, Gadiformes) Atlantic cod.jpg


Polymixiiformes (beardfish) Polymixia nobilis1.jpg


Beryciformes (alfonsinos, whalefishes) Beryx decadactylus (white background).jpg

Trachichthyiformes (pinecone fishes, slimeheads) Anoplogaster cornuta Brauer.jpg


Holocentriformes (squirrelfish, soldier fishes) Myripristis chryseres Jordan & Evermann Pauu (white background).jpeg


The following cladogram shows the evolutionary relationshiops of the various groups of extant percomorph fishes:


Ophidiiformes (cusk-eels) Brotula multibarbata (white background).jpeg


Batrachoididae (toadfishes) Batrachoides surinamensis.jpg


Scombriformes (tunas, mackerel, etc.) Scomber scombrus.png


Syngnathiformes (seahorses, seadragon, etc.) Hippocampus hippocampus Gervais.jpg


Gobiiformes (gobies) Crazy fish, Butis butis (Hamilton, 1822) by M. L. Nievera (colored).png

Kurtiformes (nurseryfishes, cardinalfishes) Apogon robinsi - pone.0010676.g071.png


Anabantiformes (snakeheads, Siamese fighting fish, gouramies) Histoire naturelle des poissons (Helostoma temminckii).jpg

Synbranchiformes Synbranchus marmoratus1.jpg


Polynemidae (threadfins) Polydactylus sextarius.jpg

Lactariidae (false trevally) Lactarius delicatulus Ford 53.jpg

Menidae (moonfish) Mene maculata Ford 53.jpg

Part of "Carangiformes"

Nematistiidae (roosterfish) Nematistius pectoralis.jpg

Echeneidae (remoras) Echeneis brachyptera Ford 55.jpg

Coryphaenidae (dolphinfish) Coryphaena hippurus.png

Rachycentridae (cobia) Rachycentron canadum.png

Sphyraenidae (barracudas) Sphyraena pinguis.jpeg

Centropomidae (snooks) Centropomus undecimalis.png

Pleuronectiformes (flatfish) Lined sole.jpg

Part of "Carangiformes"

Carangidae (jacks) Caranx latus 1.png

Istiophoriformes (billfish) Swordfish (Duane Raver).png

Leptobramidae (beachsalmons)

Toxotidae (archerfish) Toxotes microlepis 2.jpg


Cichliformes (cichlids, convict blennies) Bathybates ferox.jpg

Polycentridae (leaffish) Polycentrus schomburgkii1.jpg


Beloniformes (needlefish, flying fish, halfbeaks) Belone belone1.jpg

Atheriniformes (silversides, rainbowfish, etc.) Labidesthes sicculus 1908.jpg

Cyprinodontiformes (tooth-carps) Fundulus waccamensis.jpg

Ambassidae (Asiatic glassfishes) Ambassis barlovi Swaine.jpg

Congrogadidae (eel blenny) BlennodesmusScapularisFord.jpg

Pomacentridae (damselfishes) XRF-Amphiprion nigripes.png

Embiotocidae (surfperches) Cymatogaster aggregata1.jpg


Mugiliformes (mullets) Tainha (Mugil sp).png

Lipogramma Lipogramma trilineatum, Adult (Threeline Basslet).jpg

Plesiopidae (roundheads) Plesiops coeruleolineatus.jpg

Pseudochromidae (dottybacks) Pseudochromis tapeinosoma male.jpg

Grammatidae (basslets) Gramma loreto, Adult (Royal Gramma).jpg

Opistognathidae (jawfishes) Opisthognathus nigromarginatus Ford 57.jpg


Blenniiformes (blennies, clinids, sand stargazers) XRF-Ecsenius lineatus.png

Gobiesociformes (clingfishes) Acyrtus artius - pone.0010676.g160.png


Gerreiformes (mojarras) Gerres filamentosus Ford 25.jpg

Uranoscopiformes (stargazers) Uranoscopus japonicus.jpeg

Centrogenyidae (false scorpionfish) Centrogenys vaigiensis.jpg

Labriformes (wrasses, cales, parrotfish) Illustration from The Naturalist's Miscellany by George Shaw, digitally enhanced by rawpixel-com 140.jpg

Perciformes (perches, sticklebacks, scorpionfishes, etc.) Abborre, Iduns kokbok.jpg

Centrarchiformes (black basses, temperate perches, etc.) Bluespotted Sunfish.jpeg

Pempheriformes (sweepers) Pempheris mangula Ford 42.jpg

Moronidae (temperate basses) Yellow Bass.gif

Sillaginidae (smelt-whitings) Sillago schomburgkii2.png

Ephippiformes (spadefishes, batfishes) Platax teira Ford 51B.jpg

Chaetodontiformes (butterflyfishes) Chaetodon striatus - pone.0010676.g100.png

Sciaenidae (drums, croakers) Atractoscion aequidens.jpg

Acanthuriformes (surgeonfishes, ponyfishes) XRF-Acanthurus leucosternon.png

Monodactylidae (moonyfishes, fingerfishes) Psettus argenteus Ford 51B.jpg

Emmelichthyidae (rovers) Plagiogeneion macrolepis.jpg

Pomacanthidae (angelfishes) XRF-Pomacanthus imperator2.png

Lutjaniformes (snappers) Lutjanus sanguineus - 1835 - Print - Iconographia Zoologica - Special Collections University of Amsterdam - UBA01 IZ12900309.jpg

Callanthiidae (splendid perches) Grammatonotus laysanus.jpg

Malacanthidae (tilefishes) Blue blanquillo.jpg

Lobotiformes (tripletails) Lobotes surinamensis - pone.0010676.g088.png

Spariformes (sea breams) Calamus bajonado.jpg

Siganidae (rabbitfishes) Siganus virgatus.png

Priacanthiformes (bigeyes, bandfishes) Priacanthus arenatus.jpg

Scatophagidae (scats) Scatophagus argus Ford 29.jpg

Caproiformes (boarfishes) Antigonia capros1.jpg

Lophiiformes (anglerfishes) Humpback anglerfish.png

Tetraodontiformes (pufferfishes, triggerfishes, etc.) Cyclichthys orbicularis mirrored.jpg

Related Research Articles

Actinopterygii Class of ray-finned bony fishes

Actinopterygii, members of which are known as ray-finned fishes, is a clade of the bony fishes. They comprise over 50% of living vertebrate species.

Osteichthyes Diverse group of fish with skeletons of bone rather than cartilage

Osteichthyes, popularly referred to as the bony fish, is a diverse taxonomic group of fish that have skeletons primarily composed of bone tissue. They can be contrasted with the Chondrichthyes, which have skeletons primarily composed of cartilage. The vast majority of fish are members of Osteichthyes, which is an extremely diverse and abundant group consisting of 45 orders, and over 435 families and 28,000 species. It is the largest class of vertebrates in existence today. The group Osteichthyes is divided into the ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii) and lobe-finned fish (Sarcopterygii). The oldest known fossils of bony fish are about 420 million years old, which are also transitional fossils, showing a tooth pattern that is in between the tooth rows of sharks and bony fishes.

Perciformes Order of ray-finned fishes

Perciformes, also called the Percomorpha or Acanthopteri, is an order or superorder of ray-finned fish. If considered a single order, they are the most numerous order of vertebrates, containing about 41% of all bony fish. Perciformes means "perch-like". This group comprises over 10,000 species found in almost all aquatic ecosystems.

Characiformes Order of fishes

Characiformes is an order of ray-finned fish, comprising the characins and their allies. Grouped in 18 recognized families, more than 2000 different species are described, including the well-known piranha and tetras.

Teleost Infraclass of fishes

Teleostei, members of which are known as teleosts, is, by far, the largest infraclass in the class Actinopterygii, the ray-finned fishes, containing 96% of all extant species of fish. Teleosts are arranged into about 40 orders and 448 families. Over 26,000 species have been described. Teleosts range from giant oarfish measuring 7.6 m (25 ft) or more, and ocean sunfish weighing over 2 t, to the minute male anglerfish Photocorynus spiniceps, just 6.2 mm (0.24 in) long. Including not only torpedo-shaped fish built for speed, teleosts can be flattened vertically or horizontally, be elongated cylinders or take specialised shapes as in anglerfish and seahorses.

Actinopteri Group of fishes

Actinopteri is the sister group of Cladistia in the class Actinopterygii.

Neopterygii Subclass of fishes

Neopterygii is a subclass of ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii). Neopterygii includes the Holostei and the Teleostei, of which the latter comprise the vast majority of extant fishes, and over half of all living vertebrate species. While living holosteans include only freshwater taxa, teleosts are diverse in both freshwater and marine environments. Many new species of teleosts are scientifically described each year.

Holostei Group of bony fish

Holostei is a group of ray-finned bony fish. It is divided into two major clades, the Halecomorphi, represented by a single living species, the bowfin, as well as the Ginglymodi, the sole living representatives being the gars (Lepisosteidae), represented by seven living species in two genera. The earliest members of the clade appeared during the Early Triassic, over 250 million years ago.

Acanthopterygii Superorder of bony fishes

Acanthopterygii is a superorder of bony fishes in the class Actinopterygii. Members of this superorder are sometimes called ray-finned fishes for the characteristic sharp, bony rays in their fins; however this name is often given to the class Actinopterygii as a whole.

Acanthomorpha is an extraordinarily diverse taxon of teleost fishes with spiny-rays. The clade contains about one third of the world's modern species of vertebrates: over 14,000 species.

Halecostomi Group of ray-finned fishes

Halecostomi is the name of a group of neopterygian fish uniting the halecomorphs and the teleosts, the largest group of extant ray-finned fish.

Euteleostei Clade of ray-finned fishes

Euteleostei, whose members are known as euteleosts, is a clade of bony fishes within Teleostei that evolved some 240 million years ago. It is divided into Protacanthopterygii and Neoteleostei.

Evolution of fish Origin and diversification of fish through geologic time

The evolution of fish began about 530 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion. It was during this time that the early chordates developed the skull and the vertebral column, leading to the first craniates and vertebrates. The first fish lineages belong to the Agnatha, or jawless fish. Early examples include Haikouichthys. During the late Cambrian, eel-like jawless fish called the conodonts, and small mostly armoured fish known as ostracoderms, first appeared. Most jawless fish are now extinct; but the extant lampreys may approximate ancient pre-jawed fish. Lampreys belong to the Cyclostomata, which includes the extant hagfish, and this group may have split early on from other agnathans.

Neoteleostei Clade of fishes

The Neoteleostei is a large clade of bony fish that includes the Ateleopodidae (jellynoses), Aulopiformes (lizardfish), Myctophiformes (lanternfish), Polymixiiformes (beardfish), Percopsiformes (Troutperches), Gadiformes (cods), Zeiformes (dories), Lampriformes, and the populous clade of the Acanthopterygii which includes the Beryciformes (squirrelfish) and the Percomorpha.

Otocephala Clade of ray-finned fishes

Otocephala is a clade of ray-finned fishes within the infraclass Teleostei that evolved some 230 million years ago. It is named for the presence of a hearing (otophysic) link from the swimbladder to the inner ear. Other names proposed for the group include Ostarioclupeomorpha and Otomorpha.

<i>Amia</i> (fish) Genus of ray-finned fishes

Amia, commonly called bowfin, is a genus of bony fish related to gars in the infraclass Holostei. They are regarded as taxonomic relicts, being the sole surviving species of the order Amiiformes, which dates from the Jurassic to the Eocene, persisting to the present. There is one living species in Amia, Amia calva, and a number of extinct species which have been described from the fossil record.

The Trachichthyiformes are an order of ray-finned fishes in the superorder Acanthopterygii.

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.

Centrarchiformes Order of fishes

Centrarchiformes is an order of ray-finned fish, sometimes included amongst the perciformes, with 17 families. This order first appeared about 55.8 million years ago in the Eocene Era, and is composed primarily of omnivores. The order has a wide range that includes the continents of Australia and South America. Many Centrarchiformes look essentially perch-like, featuring a stocky build and a spine-bearing dorsal fin, and range in size from 2.5 cm in length, to 1.8 meters for the Maccullochella peelii. The order Centrachiformes is not recognised in the 5th Edition of Fishes of the World.

The phylogenetic classification of bony fishes is a phylogenetic classification of bony fishes and is based on phylogenies inferred using molecular and genomic data for nearly 2000 fishes. The first version was published in 2013 and resolved 66 orders. The latest version was published in 2017 and recognised 72 orders and 79 suborders.


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