Understanding Evolution

A Fisheye View of the Tree of Life

The evolutionary tree shown here focuses on relationships among the ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii, ACK-tih-NOP-tuh-RIJ-ee-eye). Click on the colored logos to read about evolutionary innovations and see lists of characteristics that evolved in different lineages. Note that this tree has been pruned to focus on certain groups of interest.

Click on thumbnail of fish for pronunciation and photo
fish phylogeny hagfish lamprey shark lobe-finned fish herring salmon hatchet fish lizardfish lanternfish trout-perches cods whalefish sticklebacks spiny eels guppies toadfish bettas cichlids anglerfish icefish perches tuna scorpion fish pufferfish

Hagfish — Myxiniformes (MIK-sih-nih-FOR-meez)

Lamprey — Petromyzontiformes

Shark — Elasmobranchii

Lobe-finned — Sarcopterygii (sar-KOP-tuh-RIJ-ee-eye)

Herring — Otomorpha (oh-toh-MORE-fuh)

Salmon — Protacanthoptherygii (PROH-tuh-kan-THOP-tuh-RIJ-ee-eye)

Hatchet Fish — Stomiatiformes (STOH-mee-at-eye-FOR-meez)

Lizardfish — Aulopiformes (all-OP-uh-FOR-meez)

Lanternfish — Myctophiformes (mik-TOF-uh-FOR-meez)

Trout-perches — Percopsiformes (per-KOP-suh-FOR-meez)

Cods Gadiformes — (GAD-uh-FOR-meez)

Whalefish — Stephanoberyciformes (stuh-FON-uh-BAY-ris-uh-FOR-meez)

Sticklebacks — Gasterosteiformes (GAS-ter-RAH-stee-uh-FOR-meez)

Spiny eels — Synbranchiformes (sin-BRAN-kuh-FOR-meez)

Guppies — Cyprinodontiformes (sy-PRIN-uh-DON-tuh-FOR-meez)

Toadfish — Batrachoidiformes (BAT-truh-KOY-duh-FOR-meez)

Betta — Anabantiformes (AN-uh-BAN-tuh-FOR-meez)

Cichlids — Labriformes (lab-rih-FOR-meez)

Anglerfish — Lophiiformes (LAH-fee-uh-FOR-meez)

Icefish — Nototheniiformes (NOH-duh-thuh-NEE-ih-FOR-meez )

Perches — Perciformes (PER-suh-FOR-meez)

Tuna — Scombriformes (SKUHM-brih-FOR-meez)

Scorpionfish — Scorpaeniformes (skor-PEE-nuh-FOR-meez)

Pufferfish — Tetraodontiformes (TEH-truh-oh-DON-tuh-FOR-meez)


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Phylogeny information from:
Wiley, E. O. and Johnson, G. D. 2010. A teleost classification based on monophyletic groups. In J. S. Nelson, H.-P. Schultze, & M. V. H. Wilson (eds) Origin and Phylogenetic Interrelationships of Teleosts. Pp. 123-182, Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, München, Germany.

Funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 0732819, 0732899, 0732589, 1019308, 0732642, 0732969, 0732894 and 0963767. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Understanding Evolution © 2019 by The University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, and the Regents of the University of California