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Yellow perch (Perca flavescens)
Scientific classification

The Perciformes [1] is the largest order of vertebrates. They have about 40% of all bony fish.[2]p151

Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and have over 7,000 species in almost all aquatic environments.

They have the widest range of sizes of any order of vertebrates, ranging from the 7 mm Schindleria brevipinguis to the 5 metre Makaira species. They first appeared and diversified in the Upper Cretaceous.

Some well-known members of this group are angelfish, barracuda, bass, blenny, cichlids, damselfish, filefish, goby, grouper, remora, swordfish, mackerel, pufferfish, tilefish, tuna, whiting, and of course perch.

Characteristics[change | change source]


The dorsal and anal fins are divided into front spiny and back soft-rayed portions, which may be partially or completely separated.

The pelvic fins usually have one spine and up to five soft rays, positioned unusually far forward under the chin or under the belly. Scales are usually ctenoid (rough-edged).

Taxonomy[change | change source]

They are grouped as in the text Fishes of the World. The order is probably polyphyletic, and changes may occur in this and other teleost orders.[3][4][5]

Recent morphological and DNA sequence analysis has shown that several of the higher-level groupings of teleosts are evolutionary grades rather than clades. Examples of demonstrably paraphyletic groups include the Perciformes.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri
  2. Long, John A. 1995. The rise of fishes: 500 million years of evolution. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  3. "Search FishBase". Archived from the original on 2021-05-13. Retrieved 2022-04-07.
  4. Nelson, Joseph, S. (2006). Fishes of the World. Wiley. ISBN 0471250317.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. "Actinopterygii". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 3 April 2006.
  6. G.D. Johnson and E.O. Wiley 2006. Tree of life: Percomorpha