Class Actinopterygii

Tree of Life

Class Actinopterygii
(The Ray Finned Fish)

Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Actinopterigii

Also See:
Class Actinopterigii Fish Fossils

Class Actinopterygii comprise the ray-finned fish, the dominant group of vertebrates, containing more than 27,000 extant species in fresh and salt water environments. The taxonomy below goes to the level of order. Interestingly, the Perciformes (meaning perch-like), at the table bottom, encompass about 40% of all fish and are the largest order of vertebrates with some 7000 species, with varying shapes and sizes, found in almost all aquatic environments. Perciformes first appeared and diversified in the Late Cretaceous.


Order (common name example) - link is to a fossil example, if available
Subclass Chondrostei Polypteriformes
Acipenseriformes (sturgeons, paddlefish)
Subclass Neopterygii                                     Semionotiformes (gars)
  Amiiformes (bowfins)
Infraclass Teleostei
Osteoglossomorpha Osteoglossiformes (bony tongues, etc)
Hiodontiformes (mooneye)
Elopomorpha Elopiformes (tarpons)
Albuliformes (bonefishes)
Notacanthiformes (spiny eels)
Anguilliformes (true eels, gulpers)
Clupeomorpha Clupeiformes (herrings)
Ostariophysi Gonorynchiformes
Cypriniformes (minnows)
Characiformes (characins)
Gymnotiformes (electric eels, knifefishes)
Siluriformes (catfishes)
Protacanthopterygii   Salmoniformes (salmon)
Esociformes (pikes)
Osmeriformes (smelts)
Sternopterygii  Ateleopodiformes (jellynose fishes)
Cyclosquamata Aulopiformes (lizardfishes)
Scopelomorpha Myctophiformes (lanternfishes)
Lampridiomorpha Lampridiformes (opahs)
Polymyxiomorpha Polymixiiformes (beardfishes) 
Paracanthopterygii    Percopsiformes (trout and perches) 
Batrachoidiformes (toadfishes)  
Lophiiformes (goosefishes) 
Gadiformes (cods) 
Ophidiiformes (cusk eels)
Acanthopterygii Mugiliformes (mullets)
  Atheriniformes (silversides)
  Beloniformes (needlefishes)
  Cetomimiformes (whalefishes)
  Cyprinodontiformes (killifishes)
  Stephanoberyciformes (pricklefishes, whalefishes
  Beryciformes (alfonsinos)
  Zeiformes (dories)
  Gobiesociformes (clingfishes)
  Gasterosteiformes (sticklebacks)
  Syngnathiformes (pipefishes, seahorses)
  Synbranchiformes (swamp-eels)
  Tetraodontiformes (triggerfishes)
  Pleuronectiformes (flatfishes)
  Scorpaeniformes (scorpionfishes)
  Perciformes (perches)
Extinct Order (Late Silurian–Early Cretaceous) Palaeonisciformes
 Also see: Museum Fish Fossils