Classifying Fishes: Order Perciformes

Classifying Fishes: Order Perciformes

The classification of animals is called taxonomy, all types of animals, including fish, are categorised into different types. Fish are generally grouped according to their likenesses and differences by the people that do the classifying called taxonomists, or systematists.

Five "orders" make up 95% of the fishes in the freshwater aquarium hobby. They are the Cypriniformes, the Characiformes, the Siluriformes, the Cyprinodontiformes and the Perciformes. The remaining 5% are spread over another 4-5 orders.

The Order Perciformes

Perciformes, also called the Percomorpha or Acanthopteri, is an order or superorder of ray-finned fish. If considered a single order, they are the most numerous order of vertebrates, containing about 41% of all bony fish. Perciformes means "perch-like". This group comprises over 10,000 species found in almost all aquatic ecosystems.

The order Perciformes contains the cichlids and the anabantoids. The anabantoids contains all gourami's and Siamese fighting fish. Among the well-known members of this group are also perch and darters (Percidae), sea bass and groupers. Perciformes also contains the spiny eels.

See examples below:


 cichlids  cichlid fish

All of the popular Cichlid species are belong to the order Perciformes.



All of the popular Gourami species belong to the order Perciformes.

Siamese Fighting Fish

Siamese Fighting Fish 

All of the popular Betta fish species belong to the order Perciformes.

Spiny Eels

Spiny Eels

All of the popular Spiny Eel species belong to the order Perciformes.

Groups and Taxon / Taxa

Like all animals, fish are classified into large primary groups that are broken down into smaller groups, which are then broken down into even smaller, less inclusive groups.

For fish, the largest and most inclusive group would be the kingdom Animalia, which contains all animals.The next being the phylum, for fish it would be the phylum Vertebra, which contains all animals with backbones.

The next smaller grouping would be the "class" Osteichthyes, before descending into the four main "taxa" that make up the classifications of fish. These are the order, the family, the genus and the species. Some subfamilies, subgenera and subspecies also exist. In future blogs, we will explore in depth the history and the meaning behind them.


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AngelfishBettaCichlidsEelsGouramiKnowledgePerciformesTropical fish

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