No scales; gill membranes separate and free from isthmus; dorsal and anal fins opposite one another; pelvic fins jugular, 4-10 rays; 3-5 branchiostegal rays; vertebrae 42-55.
The first specimen of this group was collected in 1911. At one time they were placed in order, Mirapinnati. All specimens are immature and 6 cm or less. Three genera and five species (one undescribed) (e.g., Paxton, 2003).
Body moderately elongate, covered with short hairlike pile; two halves of caudal fin overlapping; large, winglike pelvic fins; pectoral fins relatively small and placed high on body.
One species, Mirapinna esau. Atlantic.
Subfamily Eutaeniophorinae—tapertails or ribbonbearers
Body very elongate, smooth; caudal fin in juveniles with extremely long tapelike streamer (several times body length); dorsal and anal fins near caudal fin; dorsal and anal fins each with 15-31 rays.
Two genera, Eutaeniophorus and Parataeniophorus, with four species. Atlantic, Indian, and western Pacific.
Family MEGALOMYCTERIDAE (275)—largenose fishes. Marine, deep-sea; Atlantic and Pacific.
Olfactory organs exceptionally large; pelvic fin usually absent, although present and inserted slightly ahead of the pectorals in Megalomycter (three rays) and Ataxolepis henactic (one ray); dorsal and anal fins near caudal fin; pleural ribs absent; vertebrae 45-52.
Perhaps four genera, Ataxolepis, with two species (one in the Atlantic and one in the tropical eastern Pacific), and the monotypic Cetomimoides, Megalomycter, and Vitiaziella (about five species with three undescribed) (e.g., Paxton and Trnski, 2003).
Order BERYCIFORMES (53)—alfonso squirrelfishes. Orbitosphenoid present; two supramaxillae in Berycidae and Holocentridae; subocular shelf present (may be reduced); pelvic fins usually with more than five soft rays; 16 or 17 branched caudal fin rays (or 18 or 19 principal rays); maxillae partially included in gape in some. As noted by Johnson and Patterson (1993), all share a modification of the anterior part of the supraorbital and infraorbital sensory canals, termed by them "Jakubowski's organ."
Johnson and Patterson (1993) recognized the Beryciformes as the sister group to their Percomorpha, a taxon excluding the Zeiformes but including the Smegmamorpha (e.g., Atherinomorpha, Gasterosteiformes, and Synbranchiformes), Scorpaeniformes, and higher taxa. The beryciforms and Johnson and Patterson's (1993) percomorphs comprise their taxon Euacanthopterygii, which is diagnosed by such characters as a complex pelvic spine and a "myoseptal" ligament from the postcleithrum to the posterolateral corner of the pelvic girdle. The Euacanthopterygii and the Zeiformes are recognized by Johnson and Patterson (1993) as an unnamed taxon diagnosed in part in having Baudelot's ligament originating on the basioccipital. Johnson and Patterson (1993) argued that the Berycidae and Holocentridae and what is given herein as the suborder Trachichthyoidei form a mono-phyletic group, and this is retained here. Kotlyar (1996) gave extensive information on the beryciforms.
Seven families with 29 genera and 144 species. All species are marine.
Suborder Trachichthyoidei. The recognition of this clade and the superfami-lies given below is based on the cladogram of Moore (1993). Baldwin and Johnson (1995) and Konishi and Okiyama (1997), based on larval characters, corroborated the relationships and supported the monophyly of this group. Five families, 18 genera, and 45 species.
Superfamily Anoplogastroidea. Spines present on parietals, frontals, and pre-operculum of larva.
Family ANOPLOGASTRIDAE (276)—fangtooths. Marine, bathypelagic; Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific.
Body short, deep, and compressed; numerous long fanglike teeth on jaws in adults; eye small, diameter less than snout length; scales small or minute; lateral line an open groove (partly covered by scales); fins without spines, dorsal with 16-20 rays and anal usually with 7-9 rays; pelvic fin with seven soft rays, the first unbranched; Baudelot's ligament absent; subocular shelf absent; neural spines steeply slanted; vertebrae 25-28. Maximum length about 16 cm.
Two species, Anoplogaster cornuta and A. brachycera (Kotlyar, 1996, 2003; Moore, 2003).
Family DIRETMIDAE (277)—spinyfins. Marine; Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific.
No lateral line; dorsal and anal fins without spines, dorsal rays 24-30 and anal rays 19-22; pelvic fin with laminar spine and six soft rays; sharp edge to abdomen formed by ventral scutes; branchiostegal rays seven or eight; vertebrae 20-32. Maximum length 37 cm.
Three genera, Diretmichthys, Diretmoides, and Diretmus, with four species (Kotlyar, 1996; Moore, 2003).
Superfamily Trachichthyoidea (changed from Anomalopoidea). Neural arch of second preural centrum unfused.
Family ANOMALOPIDAE (278)—flashlight fishes. Marine; scattered warm-water localities, primarily Indo-Pacific.
Luminous organ beneath eye with rotational and shutter mechanism for controlling light emission (hence the common name, lanterneye or flashlight fishes); pelvic fin with one spine and five or six soft rays; dorsal fin with 2-6 spines and 14-19 soft rays, spinous and soft portions continuous (Photoblepharon only) or with notch; anal fin spines two or three and soft rays 10-13; short subocular shelf; vertebrae 25-30. Johnson and Rosenblatt (1988) described the mechanical means of controlling light emission from the sub-ocular organ with symbiotic luminous bacteria that glow continuously, by rotation of its luminous organ downward or by the erection of a black membrane over it or by both mechanisms, and the advantage of the blinking action in avoiding predation. Maximum length about 27 cm, attained by the plankti-vore, Anomalops katoptron. Also known as lanterneye fishes. Baldwin et al. (1997) presented a cladogram of the six genera, giving the sister group of this family the Monocentridae.
Six genera—the western Pacific Anomalops (1), Indo-West Pacific Photoblepharon (2), the Caribbean Kryptophanaron (1), the Pacific Parmops (2, known from Fiji and Tahiti), and the eastern Pacific Phthanophaneron (1, the Gulf of California), and the South Pacific Protoblepharon (1, from off Rarotonga, Cook Islands)—with eight species (Kotlyar, 1996; Baldwin et al., 1997; Johnson and Rosenblatt, 1988; Johnson et al., 2001; Moore, 2003).
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