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Scorpaenidae: Broadbarred firefish, Pterois antennata
Scorpaenidae: Broadbarred firefish, Pterois antennata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes

See text for families

Scorpaeniformes is an order of ray-finned fish, also called the Scleroparei or Dactylopteriformes, closely related to and sometimes included in the Perciformes.

They are known as "mail-cheeked" fishes due to their distinguishing characteristic, the suborbital stay: a backwards extension of the third infraorbital bone (part of the skull, below the eye socket) across the cheek to the preoperculum, to which it is connected in most species.


The division of Scorpaeniformes into families is not settled; accounts range from 26 families[1][2] to 35 families[3][4].

Setarchidae: Deepwater scorpionfish, Setarches guentheri
Setarchidae: Deepwater scorpionfish, Setarches guentheri
Sebastidae: Ocean perch, Sebastes marinus
Sebastidae: Ocean perch, Sebastes marinus
Scorpaenidae: Longspine scorpionfish, Pontinus longispinis
Scorpaenidae: Longspine scorpionfish, Pontinus longispinis
  • Suborder Anoplopomatoidei
    • Anoplopomatidae (sablefish and skilfish)
  • Suborder Cottoidei
    • Superfamily Cottoidea
      • Abyssocottidae (deep-water sculpins)
        Agonidae (poachers)
        Comephoridae (Baikal oilfishes)
        Cottidae (sculpins)
        Cottocomephoridae (Baikal sculpins)
        Hemitripteridae (sea ravens and sailfin sculpins)
        Icelidae (scaled sculpins)[5]
        Psychrolutidae (fatheads)
        Rhamphocottidae (grunt sculpin)
    • Superfamily Cyclopteroidea
      • Cyclopteridae (lumpsuckers)
        Liparidae (snailfishes)
  • Suborder Dactylopteroidei
    • Dactylopteridae (flying gurnards)
  • Suborder Hexagrammoidei
    • Hexagrammidae (greenlings)
  • Suborder Normanichthyiodei
    • Normanichthyidae
  • Suborder Platycephaloidei
    • Bembridae (deepwater flatheads)
      Hoplichthyidae (ghost flatheads)
      Platycephalidae (flatheads)
  • Suborder Scorpaenoidei
    • Apistidae[7]
      Aploactinidae (velvetfishes)
      Caracanthidae (orbicular velvetfishes)
      Congiopodidae (horsefishes and pigfishes)
      Gnathanacanthidae (red velvetfish)
      Pataecidae (Australian prowfishes)
      Scorpaenidae (scorpionfishes and rockfishes)
      Synanceiidae (stonefishes)
      Tetrarogidae (waspfishes)[7]
      Triglidae (searobins)

Notes and references

  1. ^ Joseph S. Nelson. Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-54713-1.
  2. ^ Scorpaeniformes (TSN 166702). Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed on 31 March 2006.
  3. ^ William N. Eschmeyer, Carl J. Ferraris, Mysi D. Hoang, Douglas J. Long (1998). Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. ISBN 0-940228-47-5.
  4. ^ "Scorpaeniformes". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. February 2006 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2006.
  5. ^ Icelidae is described as a separate family by some sources [1], containing only the genus Icelus. However, this genus which is considered to be a member of Cottidae by most other sources [2]
  6. ^ Parabembridae is included in Bembridae in ITIS and Nelson, but split in FishBase and Eschmeyer.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Apistidae, Neosebastidae, Plectrogenidae, Sebastidae, and Setarchidae are included in Scorpaenidae in ITIS and Nelson, but split in FishBase and Eschmeyer.
  8. ^ Peristediidae is included in Triglidae in ITIS and Nelson, but split in FishBase and Eschmeyer.

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