The Actinopterygii ˌæktɨnɒptəˈrɪdʒi.aɪ or ray-finned fishes constitute a class
Class (biology)
In biological classification, class is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, order, family, genus, and species, with class fitting between phylum and order...

 or sub-class of the bony fishes
Osteichthyes , also called bony fish, are a taxonomic group of fish that have bony, as opposed to cartilaginous, skeletons. The vast majority of fish are osteichthyes, which is an extremely diverse and abundant group consisting of over 29,000 species...


The ray-finned fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

es are so called because they possess lepidotrichia or "fin rays", their fins being webs of skin supported by bony or horny spines ("rays"), as opposed to the fleshy, lobed fins that characterize the class Sarcopterygii
The Sarcopterygii or lobe-finned fishes – sometimes considered synonymous with Crossopterygii constitute a clade of the bony fishes, though a strict classification would include the terrestrial vertebrates...

 which also, however, possess lepidotrichia. These actinopterygian fin rays attach directly to the proximal or basal skeletal elements, the radials, which represent the link or connection between these fins and the internal skeleton (e.g., pelvic and pectoral girdles).

In terms of numbers, actinopterygians are the dominant class of vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s, comprising nearly 96% of the 25,000 species of fish. They are ubiquitous throughout fresh water
Fresh Water
Fresh Water is the debut album by Australian rock and blues singer Alison McCallum, released in 1972. Rare for an Australian artist at the time, it came in a gatefold sleeve...

 and marine
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

 environments from the deep sea to the highest mountain streams. Extant species can range in size from Paedocypris
Paedocypris is a genus of cyprinid fish found in Southeast Asia where it occurs in Malaysia and Indonesia. Three species are known.Paedocypris progenetica has been claimed to be the smallest known species of fish and vertebrate in the world...

, at 8 millimetre (0.31496062992126 in), to the massive Ocean Sunfish
Ocean sunfish
The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, or common mola, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of . The species is native to tropical and temperate waters around the globe. It resembles a fish head with a tail, and its main body is flattened laterally...

, at 2300 kilograms (5,070.6 lb), and the long-bodied Oarfish
Oarfish are large, greatly elongated, pelagic Lampriform fishes comprising the small family Regalecidae. Found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen, the oarfish family contains four species in two genera...

, to at least 11 metres (36.1 ft).

Fossil record

The earliest known fossil Actinopterygiian is Andreolepis hedei
Andreolepis hedei
Andreolepis hedei, an extinct prehistoric fish, has proven so far to be the earliest-known Actinopterygiian, living around 420 million years ago. It inhabited Russia, Sweden, Estonia, and Latvia.-References:**...

, dating back 420 million years (Late Silurian). This microvertebrate has been uncovered in Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, and Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...



Traditionally three grades of actinopterygians have been recognised: the Chondrostei
Chondrostei are primarily cartilaginous fish showing some ossification. There are 52 species divided among two orders, the Acipenseriformes and the Polypteriformes ....

, Holostei
Holostei are bony fish that show primitive characteristics. There are eight species divided among two orders, the Amiiformes represented by a single living species, the bowfin , and the Lepisosteiformes, the gars. There are more species to be found in the fossil record.Holostei share with other...

, and Teleostei
Teleostei is one of three infraclasses in class Actinopterygii, the ray-finned fishes. This diverse group, which arose in the Triassic period, includes 20,000 extant species in about 40 orders; most living fishes are members of this group...

. Some morphological evidence suggests that the second is paraphyletic and should be abandoned; however, recent work based on more complete sampling of fossil taxa, and also an analysis of DNA sequence data from the complete mitochondrial genome, supports its recognition. Nearly all living bony fishes are teleosts.

A listing of the different groups is given below, down to the level of orders, arranged in what has been suggested to represent the evolutionary sequence down to the level of order based primarily on the long history of morphological studies. This classification, like any other taxonomy
Taxonomy is the science of identifying and naming species, and arranging them into a classification. The field of taxonomy, sometimes referred to as "biological taxonomy", revolves around the description and use of taxonomic units, known as taxa...

 based on phylogenetic research is in a state of flux. Recent morphological and molecular data has shown that several of these ordinal and higher-level groupings represent evolutionary grade
Evolutionary grade
In alpha taxonomy, a grade refers to a taxon united by a level of morphological or physiological complexity. The term was coined by British biologist Julian Huxley, to contrast with clade, a strictly phylogenetic unit.-Definition:...

s rather than clade
A clade is a group consisting of a species and all its descendants. In the terms of biological systematics, a clade is a single "branch" on the "tree of life". The idea that such a "natural group" of organisms should be grouped together and given a taxonomic name is central to biological...

s. Examples of demonstrably paraphyletic groups include the Paracanthopterygii
Paracanthopterygii is a superorder of fishes. Members of this superorder are called paracanthopterygians.It includes five orders:* Percopsiformes * Batrachoidiformes * Lophiiformes...

, Scorpaeniformes
Scorpaeniformes is an order of ray-finned fish, but it has also been called the Scleroparei.They are known as "mail-cheeked" fishes due to their distinguishing characteristic, the suborbital stay: a backwards extension of the third circumorbital bone across the cheek to the preoperculum, to which...

, and Perciformes
The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, is one of the largest orders of vertebrates, containing about 40% of all bony fish. Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and comprise over 7,000 species found in almost all aquatic environments...

. The listing follows FishBase
FishBase is a comprehensive database of information about fish species . It is the largest and most extensively accessed online database on adult finfish on the web...

 with notes when this differs from Nelson and ITIS
Itis may refer to* Integrated Taxonomic Information System, a partnership designed to provide consistent and reliable information on the taxonomy of biological species...

  • Subclass Chondrostei
    Chondrostei are primarily cartilaginous fish showing some ossification. There are 52 species divided among two orders, the Acipenseriformes and the Polypteriformes ....

    • Order Polypteriformes, including the bichir
      The bichirs are a family, Polypteridae, of archaic-looking ray-finned fishes, the sole family in the order Polypteriformes.All species occur in freshwater habitats in tropical Africa and the Nile River system, mainly swampy, shallow floodplains and estuaries.-Anatomy and appearance:Bichirs are...

      s and reedfish
      The Reedfish, Erpetoichthys calabaricus, Ropefish , or Snakefish is a species of freshwater fish in the bichir family and order. It is the only member of the genus Erpetoichthys...

    • Order Acipenseriformes
      Acipenseriformes are an order of primitive ray-finned fishes that includes the sturgeons and paddlefishes, as well as some extinct families.Notable characteristics of Acipenseriformes include:* Cartilaginous endoskeleton* Lack of vertebral centrum...

      , including the sturgeon
      Sturgeon is the common name used for some 26 species of fish in the family Acipenseridae, including the genera Acipenser, Huso, Scaphirhynchus and Pseudoscaphirhynchus. The term includes over 20 species commonly referred to as sturgeon and several closely related species that have distinct common...

      s and paddlefish
      Paddlefish are primitive Chondrostean ray-finned fishes. The paddlefish can be distinguished by its large mouth and its elongated, spatula-like snout, called a rostrum, which is longer than the rest of the head...

  • Subclass Neopterygii
    Neopterygii is a group of Actinopteri animals. Neopterygii means "new fins". There are only few changes during their evolution from the earlier actinopterygians. They appeared somewhere in the Late Permian, before the time of the dinosaurs. The Neopterygii is a very successful group of fishes,...

    • Infraclass Holostei
      Holostei are bony fish that show primitive characteristics. There are eight species divided among two orders, the Amiiformes represented by a single living species, the bowfin , and the Lepisosteiformes, the gars. There are more species to be found in the fossil record.Holostei share with other...

      • Order Lepisosteiformes, the gar
        In American English the name gar is strictly applied to members of the Lepisosteidae, a family including seven living species of fish in two genera that inhabit fresh, brackish, and occasionally marine, waters of eastern North America, Central America, and the Caribbean islands.-Etymology:In...

      • Order Amiiformes
        Amiiformes is an order of fish, of which only one species, the Bowfin, Amia calva, is still extant.-Taxonomy:Amiiformes Hay 1929*Superfamily Amioidea Bonaparte 1838**Family Amiidae Bonaparte 1837***Subfamily Amiinae Bonaparte 1837...

        , the bowfin
        The Bowfin, Amia calva, is the last surviving member of the order Amiiformes , and of the family Amiidae...

    • Infraclass Teleostei
      Teleostei is one of three infraclasses in class Actinopterygii, the ray-finned fishes. This diverse group, which arose in the Triassic period, includes 20,000 extant species in about 40 orders; most living fishes are members of this group...

      • Superorder Osteoglossomorpha
        Osteoglossomorpha is a group of bony fish in the Teleostei.-Notable members:A notable member is the Arapaima , the largest freshwater fish in South America and one of the very largest bony fishes alive. Other notable members include the bizarre freshwater elephantfishes .-Systematics:Most...

        • Order Osteoglossiformes
          Osteoglossiformes is a relatively primitive order of ray-finned fish that contains two sub-orders, the Osteoglossoidei and the Notopteroidei. All of the living species inhabit freshwater...

          , the bony-tongued fishes
        • Order Hiodontiformes
          Hiodontiformes is a relatively new order of fish, consisting of the two living species of the mooneye family Hiodontidae and three genera of extinct types....

          , including the mooneye
          The mooneyes are a family, the Hiodontidae, of primitive ray-finned fish comprising two living and three extinct species in the genus Hiodon. They are large-eyed, fork-tailed fish that physically resemble shads. Their common name comes from the metallic gold or silver shine of their eyes.The higher...

           and goldeye
          The goldeye, Hiodon alosoides, is a species of fish in the mooneye family . It occurs from as far down the Mackenzie River as Aklavik in the north to Mississippi in the south, and from Alberta in the west to Ohio south of the Great Lakes, with an isolated population south of James Bay. It is...

      • Superorder Elopomorpha
        The superorder Elopomorpha contains a variety of types of fishes that range from typical silvery colored fish-like species such as the tarpons and ladyfishes of the Elopiformes and the bonefishes of the Albuliformes, to the long and slender, smooth bodied eels of the Anguilliformes...

        • Order Elopiformes
          Elopiformes is the order of ray-finned fish that includes the tarpons, tenpounders, and ladyfish, as well as a number of extinct types. They have a long fossil record, easily distinguished from other fishes by the presence of an additional set of bones in the throat.They are related to the order...

          , including the ladyfishes and tarpon
          Tarpons are large fish of the genus Megalops. There are two species of Megalops, one native to the Atlantic, and the other to the Indo-Pacific oceans.They are the only members of the family Megalopidae.- Species and habitats :...

        • Order Albuliformes, the bonefishes
        • Order Notacanthiformes
          Notacanthiformes is an order of deep-sea ray-finned fishes, consisting of the families Halosauridae and Notacanthidae The order is of relatively recent vintage; Fishes of the World lists it as a suborder Notacanthoidei of Albuliformes...

          , including the halosaurs and spiny eel
          Spiny eel
          The name spiny eel is used to describe members of two different families of fish: the freshwater Mastacembelidae of Asia and Africa, and the marine Notacanthidae. Both are so-named because of their eel-like shape and sturdy fin spines....

        • Order Anguilliformes, the true eel
          Eels are an order of fish, which consists of four suborders, 20 families, 111 genera and approximately 800 species. Most eels are predators...

          s and gulpers
        • Order Saccopharyngiformes
          Saccopharyngiformes is an order of unusual ray-finned fish superficially similar to eels, but with many internal differences. Most of the fish in this order are deep-sea types known from only a handful of specimens such as the Umbrella Mouth Gulper Eel. Saccopharyngiformes are also bioluminescent...

          , including the gulper eel
      • Superorder Clupeomorpha
        • Order Clupeiformes
          Clupeiformes is the order of ray-finned fish that includes the herring family, Clupeidae, and the anchovy family, Engraulidae. The group includes many of the most important food fish....

          , including herring
          Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

          s and anchovies
          Anchovies are a family of small, common salt-water forage fish. There are 144 species in 17 genera, found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Anchovies are usually classified as an oily fish.-Description:...

      • Superorder Ostariophysi
        Ostariophysi is the second-largest superorder of fish. Members of this superorder are called ostariophysians. This diverse group contains almost 8,000 species, about 28% of known fish species in the world and 68% of freshwater species, and are present on all major continents except Antarctica...

        • Order Gonorynchiformes
          Gonorynchiformes is an order of ray-finned fish that includes the important food source, the milkfish , and a number of lesser-known types, both marine and freshwater....

          , including the milkfish
          The milkfish is the sole living species in the family Chanidae. - Description and biology :...

        • Order Cypriniformes
          The Cypriniformes are an order of ray-finned fish, including the carps, minnows, loaches and relatives. This order contains 5-6 families, over 320 genera, and more than 3,250 species, with new species being described every few months or so, and new genera being recognized regularly...

          , including barbs, carp
          Carp are various species of oily freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae, a very large group of fish native to Europe and Asia. The cypriniformes are traditionally grouped with the Characiformes, Siluriformes and Gymnotiformes to create the superorder Ostariophysi, since these groups have certain...

          , danios, goldfish
          The goldfish is a freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae of order Cypriniformes. It was one of the earliest fish to be domesticated, and is one of the most commonly kept aquarium fish....

          es, loaches
          Loach (fish)
          Cobitidae is the family of the true loaches, which are Old World freshwater fish. They occur throughout Eurasia and in Morocco, and inhabit riverine ecosystems. Today, most "loaches" are placed in other families...

          , minnow
          Minnow is a general term used to refer to small freshwater and saltwater fish, especially those used as bait fish or for fishing bait. More specifically, it refers to small freshwater fish of the carp family.-True minnows:...

          s, rasbora
          A rasbora is a member of a group of small minnow-type fish in the family Cyprinidae . Fish from genera such as Boraras, Microrasbora, Rasbora and Trigonostigma are commonly referred to as rasboras...

        • Order Characiformes
          The Characiformes are an order of ray-finned fish, comprising the characins and their allies. Grouped in 18 recognized families, there are a few thousand different species, including the well-known piranha and tetras.-Taxonomy:...

          , including characins, pencilfishes, hatchetfish
          The name hatchetfish may refer to two unrelated groups of fishes:*Marine hatchetfishes, small deep-sea bioluminescent fishes of the family Sternoptychidae, subfamily Sternoptychinae....

          es, piranha
          A piranha or piraña is a member of family Characidae in order Characiformes, an omnivorous freshwater fish that inhabits South American rivers. In Venezuela, they are called caribes...

          s, tetra
          thumb|right|250px|Pristella tetra — [[Pristella maxillaris]].thumb|right|250px|Golden Pristella tetra, a [[morph |morph]] of [[Pristella maxillaris]].thumb|right|250px|[[Silvertip tetra]] — Hasemania nana....

          s, dourado / golden (genus Salminus)
          Golden dorado
          The Golden Dorado is a large river fish that lives in central and east-central South America. Despite having Salminus in its name, the dorado is not related to any species of salmon, nor to the saltwater fish also called dorado...

           and pacu
          Piaractus mesopotamicus
          Pacú , pez chato , mbiraí, or piraí, is a South American ray-finned fish that is endemic to the Paraguay-Paraná River basin, though it has been introduced by aquaculture activities in a wider area....

        • Order Gymnotiformes
          The Gymnotiformes are a group of teleost bony fishes commonly known as the Neotropical or South American knifefishes. They have long bodies and swim using undulations of their elongated anal fin...

          , including electric eel
          Electric eel
          The electric eel , is an electric fish, and the only species of the genus Electrophorus. It is capable of generating powerful electric shocks, of up to six hundred volts, which it uses for both hunting and self-defense. It is an apex predator in its South American range...

          s and knifefish
          Knifefish may refer to several knife-shaped fishes:* The Neotropical or weakly electric knifefishes, order Gymnotiformes, containing five families:** Family Gymnotidae ** Family Rhamphichthyidae...

        • Order Siluriformes, the catfish
          Catfishes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores...

      • Superorder Protacanthopterygii
        Protacanthopterygii is a ray-finned fish taxon ranked as a superorder of the infraclass Teleostei. They inhabit both marine and freshwater habitat...

        • Order Argentiniformes
          Argentiniformes is an order of ray-finned fish whose distinctness was recognized only fairly recently. In former times, they were included in the Osmeriformes as suborder Argentinoidei. That term refers only to the suborder of marine smelts and barreleyes in the classification used here, with the...

          , including the barreleye
          Barreleyes, also known as spook fish , are small deep-sea osmeriform fish comprising the family Opisthoproctidae...

          s and slickheads (formerly in Osmeriformes)
        • Order Salmoniformes, including salmon
          Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

           and trout
          Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater and saltwater fish belonging to the Salmoninae subfamily of the family Salmonidae. Salmon belong to the same family as trout. Most salmon species spend almost all their lives in salt water...

        • Order Esociformes
          Esociformes is a small order of ray-finned fish, with two families, the Umbridae and the Esocidae . The pikes of genus Esox give the order its name. There are ten species — five in each family....

           the pike
          Esox is a genus of freshwater fish, the only living genus in the family Esocidae — the esocids which were endemic to North America, Europe and Eurasia during the Paleogene through present.The type species is E. lucius, the northern pike...

        • Order Osmeriformes
          Osmeriformes is an order of ray-finned fish that includes the true or freshwater smelts and allies, such as the galaxiids and noodlefishes; they are also collectively called osmeriforms. They belong to the teleost superorder Protacanthopterygii, which also includes pike and salmon, among others...

          , including the smelts and galaxiid
          The Galaxiidae, also known by the anglicised name as galaxiids, are a family of mostly small freshwater fish in the southern hemisphere. The majority of species live in Australia or New Zealand, some are also found in South Africa, South America, Lord Howe Island, New Caledonia and the Falkland...

      • Superorder Stenopterygii
        Stenopterygii are a superorder of ray-finned fish in the infraclass Teleostei. Their validity is somewhat doubtful, as the group was established to separate, out of a large group of closely related Teleostei, a mere two rather peculiarly autapomorphic orders at best...

        (may belong in Protacanthopterygii)
        • Order Ateleopodiformes, the jellynose fish
          Jellynose fish
          The jellynose fishes or tadpole fishes are the small order Ateleopodiformes. This group of ray-finned fish is monotypic, containing a single family Ateleopodidae...

        • Order Stomiiformes
          Stomiiformes is an order of deep-sea ray-finned fishes of very diverse morphology. It includes for example dragonfishes, lightfishes, loosejaws, marine hatchetfishes and viperfishes. The order contains 4 families with more than 50 genera and almost 400 species...

          , including the bristlemouths and marine hatchetfish
          Marine hatchetfish
          Marine hatchetfishes or deep-sea hatchetfishes are small deep-sea mesopelagic ray-finned fish of the stomiiform subfamily Sternoptychinae...

      • Superorder Cyclosquamata (may belong in Protacanthopterygii)
        • Order Aulopiformes
          Aulopiformes is an order of marine ray-finned fish consisting of some 15 extant and several prehistoric families with about 45 genera and over 230 species. The common names grinners, lizardfishes and allies or aulopiforms are sometimes used for this group...

          , including the Bombay duck
          Bombay duck
          The Bombay duck or bummalo is, despite its name, not a duck but a lizardfish. It is native to the waters between Mumbai and Kutch in the Arabian Sea, and a small number are also found in the Bay of Bengal. Great numbers are also caught in the South China Sea...

           and lancetfish
          Lancetfishes are large oceanic predatory fishes in the genus Alepisaurus , the only living genus in the family Alepisauridae....

      • Superorder Scopelomorpha
        • Order Myctophiformes
          Myctophiformes is an order of ray-finned fish consisting of two families of deep-sea marine fish, most notably the highly abundant lanternfishes...

          , including the lanternfish
          Cooper Lanternfishes are small mesopelagic fish of the large family Myctophidae. One of two families in the order Myctophiformes, the Myctophidae are represented by 246 species in 33 genera, and are found in oceans worldwide. They are aptly named after their conspicuous use of bioluminescence...

      • Superorder Lampridiomorpha
        • Order Lampriformes
          Lampriformes is an order of ray-finned fish. They are collectively called "lamprids" or lampriforms, and unite such open-ocean and partially deep-sea Teleostei as the crestfishes, oarfish, opahs and ribbonfishes...

          , including the oarfish
          Oarfish are large, greatly elongated, pelagic Lampriform fishes comprising the small family Regalecidae. Found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen, the oarfish family contains four species in two genera...

          , opah
          Opah are large, colorful, deep-bodied pelagic Lampriform fish comprising the small family Lampridae . There are only two living species in a single genus: Lampris...

           and ribbonfishes
      • Superorder Polymyxiomorpha
        • Order Polymixiiformes, the beardfish
          The beardfishes are a small family of deep-sea marine ray-finned fish named for their pair of long hyoid barbels. They have little economic importance....

      • Superorder Paracanthopterygii
        Paracanthopterygii is a superorder of fishes. Members of this superorder are called paracanthopterygians.It includes five orders:* Percopsiformes * Batrachoidiformes * Lophiiformes...

        • Order Percopsiformes
          Percopsiformes is a small order of ray-finned fish, comprising the trout-perch and its allies. It contains just nine species, grouped into three families....

          , including the cavefishes and trout-perches
        • Order Batrachoidiformes, the toadfishes
        • Order Lophiiformes, including the anglerfish
          Anglerfishes are members of the teleost order Lophiiformes . They are bony fishes named for their characteristic mode of predation, wherein a fleshy growth from the fish's head acts as a lure; this is considered analogous to angling.Some anglerfishes are pelagic , while others are benthic...

        • Order Gadiformes
          Gadiformes is an order of ray-finned fish, also called the Anacanthini, that includes the cod and its allies. Many major food fish are in this order. They are found in marine waters throughout the world, and there are also a small number of freshwater species.Common characteristics include the...

          , including cod
          Cod is the common name for genus Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name for various other fishes. Cod is a popular food with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of...

        • Order Ophidiiformes
          Ophidiiformes is an order of ray-finned fish that includes the cusk eels , pearlfishes , brotulas , and others....

          , including the pearlfish
          Pearlfish is a general name for a variety of marine fish species in the Carapidae family. Pearlfish have been found in tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans at depths up to along oceanic shelves and slopes....

      • Superorder Acanthopterygii
        Acanthopterygii is a superorder of bony fishes in the class Actinopterygii. Members of this superorder are also known as the ray-finned fishes for the characteristic sharp, bony rays in their fins; however this name is also often given to the class Actinopterygii as a whole.Orders:* Order...

        • Order Mugiliformes, the mullets
          Mullet (fish)
          The mullets or grey mullets are a family and order of ray-finned fish found worldwide in coastal temperate and tropical waters, and in some species in fresh water. Mullets have served as an important source of food in Mediterranean Europe since Roman times...

        • Order Atheriniformes
          Atheriniformes, also known as the silversides, is an order of ray-finned fish that includes the Old World silversides and several less-familiar families, including the unusual Phallostethidae...

          , including silversides
          Silverside (fish)
          The Old World silversides are a family, Atherinidae, of fish in the order Atheriniformes. They occur worldwide in tropical and temperate waters...

           and rainbowfish
          The rainbowfish are a family of small, colourful, freshwater fish that are found in northern and eastern Australia and New Guinea and in the Southeast Asian islands....

        • Order Beloniformes
          The Beloniformes are an order of five families of freshwater and marine ray-finned fish: the Adrianichthyidae ; Belonidae ; Exocoetidae ; Hemiramphidae ; and the Scomberesocidae...

          , including the flyingfish
          Exocoetidae, is a family of marine fish in the order Beloniformes of class Actinopterygii. Fish of this family are known as flying fish. There are about 64 species grouped in seven to nine genera.- Etymology :...

        • Order Cetomimiformes
          The Cetomimiformes or whalefishes are an order of small, deep-sea ray-finned fish. Some authorities include the whalefishes as part of the order Stephanoberyciformes, within the superfamily Cetomimoidea. Their sister order, the Beryciformes, includes the flashlight fish and squirrelfish.Within this...

          , the whalefishes
        • Order Cyprinodontiformes
          The Cyprinodontiformes is an order of ray-finned fish, comprising mostly small, fresh-water fish. Many popular aquarium fish, such as killifish and live-bearers, are included. They are closely related to the Atheriniformes and are occasionally included with them...

          , including livebearers
          Live-bearing aquarium fish
          Live-bearing aquarium fish, often simply called livebearers, are fish that retain the eggs inside the body and give birth to live, free-swimming young.-Common aquarium livebearers:...

          , killifish
          A killifish is any of various oviparous cyprinodontiform fish . Altogether, there are some 1270 different species of killifish, the biggest family being Rivulidae, containing more than 320 species...

        • Order Stephanoberyciformes
          The Stephanoberyciformes are an order of marine ray-finned fishes, consisting of about 45 species, the majority of which belong to the ridgehead family . The Stephanoberyciformes are mostly uncommon deep-sea species with little, if any, importance to commercial fishery...

          , including the ridgehead
          Ridgeheads, also known as bigscales, are a family of small, deep-sea stephanoberyciform fish. The family contains approximately 37 species in five genera; their distribution is worldwide, but ridgeheads are absent from the Arctic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea...

        • Order Beryciformes
          Beryciformes is an order of ray-finned fishes. This is a very poorly understood group of 16 families, 57 genera, and about 219 species. Some people believe that it is probably an artificial assemblage of unrelated taxa that are thrown together for convenience only; there are no convincing...

          , including the fangtooth
          Fangtooths are beryciform fish of the family Anoplogastridae that live in the deep sea. The name is from Greek anoplo meaning "unarmed" and gaster meaning "stomach"...

          s and pineconefishes
        • Order Zeiformes
          The Zeiformes are a small order of marine ray-finned fishes most notable for the dories, a group of common food fish. The order consists of about 40 species in seven families, mostly deep-sea types....

          , including the dories
          Dory (fish)
          The common name dory is shared by members of several different families of large-eyed, silvery, deep-bodied, laterally compressed, and roughly discoid marine fish. As well as resembling each other, dories are also similar in habit: most are deep-sea and demersal...

        • Order Gobiesociformes, the clingfishes
        • Order Gasterosteiformes
          Gasterosteiformes is an order of ray-finned fishes that includes the sticklebacks and relatives.In the Gasterosteiformes, the pelvic girdle is never attached to the cleithra directly, and the supramaxillary, orbitosphenoid, and basisphenoid bones are absent. The body is often partly or completely...

           including stickleback
          The Gasterosteidae are a family of fish including the sticklebacks. FishBase currently recognises sixteen species in the family, grouped in five genera. However several of the species have a number of recognised subspecies, and the taxonomy of the family is thought to be in need of revision...

        • Order Syngnathiformes
          Syngnathiformes is an order of ray-finned fishes that includes the pipefishes and seahorses.These fishes have elongate, narrow, bodies surrounded by a series of bony rings, and small, tubular mouths. Several groups live among seaweed and swim with the body aligned vertically, to blend in with the...

          , including the seahorses and pipefish
          Pipefishes or pipe-fishes are a subfamily of small fishes, which, together with the seahorses, form the family Syngnathidae.-Anatomy:...

        • Order Synbranchiformes
          Synbranchiformes, often called swamp eels, is an order of ray-finned fishes that are eel-like but have spiny rays, indicating that they belong to the superorder Acanthopterygii.-Taxonomy:...

          , including the swamp eel
          Swamp eel
          The swamp eels are a family of freshwater eel-like fishes of the worldwide tropics.-Description:...

        • Order Tetraodontiformes
          The Tetraodontiformes are an order of highly derived ray-finned fish, also called the Plectognathi. Sometimes these are classified as a suborder of the Perciformes...

          , including the filefish
          Filefish are tropical to subtropical tetraodontiform marine fish of the diverse family Monacanthidae. Found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the filefish family contains approximately 107 species in 26 genera...

          es and pufferfish
          Tetraodontidae is a family of primarily marine and estuarine fish of the Tetraodontiformes order. The family includes many familiar species which are variously called pufferfish, balloonfish, blowfish, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab...

        • Order Pleuronectiformes, the flatfish
          The flatfish are an order of ray-finned fish, also called the Heterosomata, sometimes classified as a suborder of Perciformes. In many species, both eyes lie on one side of the head, one or the other migrating through and around the head during development...

        • Order Scorpaeniformes
          Scorpaeniformes is an order of ray-finned fish, but it has also been called the Scleroparei.They are known as "mail-cheeked" fishes due to their distinguishing characteristic, the suborbital stay: a backwards extension of the third circumorbital bone across the cheek to the preoperculum, to which...

          , including scorpionfish
          Scorpaenidae, the scorpionfish, are a family of mostly marine fish that includes many of the world's most venomous species. As the name suggests, scorpionfish have a type of "sting" in the form of sharp spines coated with venomous mucus. The family is a large one, with hundreds of members. They are...

          es and the sculpin
          A Sculpin is a fish that belongs to the order Scorpaeniformes, suborder Cottoidei and superfamily Cottoidea, that contains 11 families, 149 genera, and 756 species...

        • Order Perciformes
          The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, is one of the largest orders of vertebrates, containing about 40% of all bony fish. Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and comprise over 7,000 species found in almost all aquatic environments...

           40% of all fish including anabantids, centrarchid
          The sunfishes are a family of freshwater ray-finned fish belonging to the order Perciformes. The type genus is Centrarchus . The family's 27 species includes many fishes familiar to North Americans, including the rock bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and crappies...

          s (incl. bass
          Bass (fish)
          Bass is a name shared by many different species of popular gamefish. The term encompasses both freshwater and marine species. All belong to the large order Perciformes, or perch-like fishes, and in fact the word bass comes from Middle English bars, meaning "perch."-Types of basses:*The temperate...

           and sunfish), cichlid
          Cichlids are fishes from the family Cichlidae in the order Perciformes. Cichlids are members of a group known as the Labroidei along with the wrasses , damselfish , and surfperches . This family is both large and diverse. At least 1,300 species have been scientifically described, making it one of...

          s, gobies, gourami
          Gouramis are a family, Osphronemidae, of freshwater perciform fishes. The fish are native to Asia, from Pakistan and India to the Malay Archipelago and north-easterly towards Korea. The name "gourami" is also used for fish of the families Helostomatidae and Anabantidae. "Gouramis" is an example of...

          s, mackerel
          Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They may be found in all tropical and temperate seas. Most live offshore in the oceanic environment but a few, like the Spanish mackerel , enter bays and can be...

          , tuna
          Tuna is a salt water fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers, and some species are capable of speeds of . Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, the muscle tissue of tuna ranges from pink to dark red. The red coloration derives from myoglobin, an...

          , perch
          Perch is a common name for fish of the genus Perca, freshwater gamefish belonging to the family Percidae. The perch, of which there are three species in different geographical areas, lend their name to a large order of vertebrates: the Perciformes, from the Greek perke meaning spotted, and the...

          es, scats
          The scats are a small family, Scatophagidae, of fishes in the order Perciformes.They are small fish native to the Indian and western Pacific Ocean that have been popular in the aquarium trade in the last 30 years...

          , whiting, wrasses

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