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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Superclassis/Classis: Actinopterygii
Classis/Subclassis: Actinopteri
Subclassis/Infraclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Megacohors: Osteoglossocephalai
Supercohors: Clupeocephala
Cohors: Euteleosteomorpha
Subcohors: Neoteleostei
Infracohors: Eurypterygia
Sectio: Ctenosquamata
Subsectio: Acanthomorphata
Divisio/Superordo: Acanthopterygii
Ordo: Scorpaeniformes
Subordines: Anoplopomatoidei - Cottoidei - Dactylopteroidei - Hexagrammoidei - Normanichthyiodei - Platycephaloidei - Scorpaenoidei



Betancur-R., R., Broughton, R.E., Wiley, E.O., Carpenter, K., López, J.A., Li, C., Holcroft, N.I., Arcila, D., Sanciangco, M., Cureton II, J.C., Zhang, F., Buser, T., Campbell, M.A., Ballesteros, J.A., Roa-Varon, A., Willis, S., Borden, W.C., Rowley, T., Reneau, P.C., Hough, D.J., Lu, G., Grande, T., Arratia, G. & Ortí, G. 2013. The tree of life and a new classification of bony fishes. (PDF) PLOS Currents Tree of Life 2013 Apr 18: 1–45, downloadable Appendix 2 (new classification): 1–21, and downloadable Figure S1 (complete cladogram with annotated classification). DOI: 10.1371/currents.tol.53ba26640df0ccaee75bb165c8c26288 Reference page.


Scorpaeniformes in FishBase,
Froese, R. & Pauly, D. (eds.) 2023. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication,, version 02/2023.

Vernacular names
čeština: Ropušnicotvární
Deutsch: Drachenkopfartige
English: Mail-cheeked Fishes
magyar: Skorpióhal-alakúak, sárkányfejűhal-alakúak
日本語: カサゴ目
ไทย: ปลากะรังหัวโขน, ปลาสิงโต, ปลาแมงป่อง, ปลาหิน
українська: Скорпеноподібні
中文: 鲉形目

he Scorpaeniformes /skɔːrˈpiːnɪfɔːrmiːz/ are a diverse order of ray-finned fish, including the lionfishes and sculpins, but have also been called the Scleroparei. It is one of the five largest orders of bony fishes by number of species, with over 1,320.[1]

They are known as "mail-cheeked" fishes due to their distinguishing characteristic, the suborbital stay: a backwards extension of the third circumorbital bone (part of the lateral head/cheek skeleton, below the eye socket) across the cheek to the preoperculum, to which it is connected in most species.[2]

Scorpaeniform fishes are carnivorous, mostly feeding on crustaceans and on smaller fish. Most species live on the sea bottom in relatively shallow waters, although species are known from deep water, from the midwater, and even from fresh water. They typically have spiny heads, and rounded pectoral and caudal fins. Most species are less than 30 cm (12 in) in length, but the full size range of the order varies from the velvetfishes belonging to the family Aploactinidae, which can be just 2 cm (0.79 in) long as adults,[2] to the skilfish (Erilepis zonifer), which can reach 183 cm (6.00 ft) in total length.[3]

One of the suborders of the Scorpaeniformes is the Scorpaenoidei. This suborder is usually found in the benthic zone, which is the lowest region of any water body like oceans or lakes.

There are two groups of the Scorpaenoidei. The sea robins is the first, which are further classified into two families: the sea robins and the armored sea robins. One significant difference between the two families of sea robins is the presence of spine-bearing plate on the armored sea robins which is absent in the sea robins family.

The second group of the Scorpaenoidei suborder is the scorpionfishes, which according to Minouri Ishida's work in 1994 and recent studies, have twelve families. The scorpionfishes are very dynamic in size with the smallest one having a range of 2–3 cm, while the largest have a length of approximately 100 cm.[4]

The division of Scorpaeniformes into families is not settled; accounts range from 26[5] to 35 families.[6][7] The 5th edition of Fishes of the World classifies the order as follows:[8][9]
Setarchinae: Deepwater scorpionfish, Setarches guentheri
Sebastinae: Rose fish, Sebastes norvegicus
Scorpaenidae: Longspine scorpionfish, Pontinus longispinis

Order Scorpaeniformes

Suborder Scorpaenoidei
Superfamily Congiopodoidea
Family Aploactinidae Jordan & Starks, 1904 (Velvetfishes)
Family Congiopodidae Gill, 1889 (Racehorses, pigfishes or horsefishes)
Superfamily Pataecoidea
Family Pataecidae Gill, 1872 (Australian prowfishes)
Family Gnathanacanthidae Gill, 1892 (Red velvetfish)
Superfamily Scorpaenoidea
Family Eschmeyeridae Mandrytsa, 2001 (the cofish)
Family Scorpaenidae Risso, 1827 (Scorpionfishes)
Suborder Platycephaloidei
Superfamily Platycephaloidea
Family Bembridae Kaup, 1873 (Deepwater flatheads)
Family Platycephalidae Swainson, 1839 (True flatheads)
Family Hoplichthyidae Kaup, 1873 (Ghost flatheads)
Superfamily Trigloidea
Family Triglidae Rafinesque, 1815 (Common searobins)
Family Peristediidae Jordan & Gilbert, 1883 (Armored searobins)
Suborder Normanichthyiodei
Family Normanichthyidae Clark, 1837 (the Barehead scorpionfish or mote sculpin)
Suborder Zoarcoidei
Superfamily Anarhichadoidea
Family Anarhichadidae Bonaparte, 1835 (Wolffishes)
Family Cryptacanthodidae Gill, 1861 (Wrymouths)
Family Stichaeidae Gill, 1864 (Pricklebacks)
Family Pholidae Gill, 1893 (Gunnels)
Superfamily Bathymasteroidea
Family Bathymasteridae Jordan & Gilbert, 1883 (Ronquils)
Family Ptilichthyidae Jordan & Gilbert, 1883 (Quillfish)
Superfamily Zoarcoidea
Family Eulophiidae H. M. Smith, 1902 (Spinous eelpouts)[10]
Family Zoarcidae Swainson, 1839 (True Eelpouts)
Superfamily Zaproroidea
Family Scytalinidae Jordan & Starks, 1895 (Graveldivers)
Family Zaproridae Jordan, 1896 (Prowfishes)
Suborder Gasterosteoidei
Family Hypoptychidae Steindachner, 1880 (the Korean Sandlance)
Family Aulorhynchidae Gill (1861) (Tubesnouts)
Family Gasterosteidae Bonaparte, 1831 (Sticklebacks)
Suborder Cottoidei
Superfamily Anoplopomatoidea (Quast, 1965)[11]
Family Anoplopomatidae Jordan & Gilbert, 1883 (Blackcod)
Superfamily Zaniolepidoidea Shinohara, 1994[12]
Family Zaniolepididae Jordan & Gilbert, 1883 (Combfishes)
Superfamily Hexagrammoidea Gill, 1889
Family Hexagrammidae Jordan, 1888 (Greenlings)
Superfamily Trichodontoidea Nazarkin & Voskoboinikova, 2000[13]
Family Trichodontidae Bleeker, 1859 (Sandfishes)
Superfamily Cottoidea Gill, 1889[14]
Family Jordaniidae Jordan & Evermann, 1898 (Longfin sculpins)
Family Rhamphocottidae Jordan & Gilbert, 1883 (Grunt sculpins)
Family Scorpaenichthyidae Jordan & Evermann, 1898
Family Agonidae Swainson, 1839 (Poachers and searavens)
Family Cottidae Bonaparte, 1831 (Sculpins)
Family Psychrolutidae Günther, 1861 (Bighead sculpins)
Family Bathylutichthyidae Balushkin & Voskoboinikova, 1990 (Antarctic sculpins)
Superfamily Cyclopteroidea Gill, 1873[15]
Family Cyclopteridae Bonaparte, 1831 (lumpfishes or lumpsuckers)
Family Liparidae Gill, 1861 (Snailfishes)

This classification is not settled, however, and some authorities classify these groupings largely within the Order Perciformes as the suborders Scorpaenoidei, Platycephaloidei, Triglioidei and Cottoidei, Cottodei including the infraorders Anoplopomatales, Zoarcales, Gasterosteales, Zaniolepidoales, Hexagrammales and Cottales. These infraorders largely correspond with the superfamilies in the Cottoidei set out in the 5th edition of Fishes of the World.[16]


Eschmeyer, William N. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 175. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2021). "Erilepis zonifer" in FishBase. June 2021 version.
"Scorpaeniformes II (Scorpionfishes and Relatives) |". Retrieved 11 April 2020.
"Scorpaeniformes". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 31 March 2006.
William N. Eschmeyer; Carl J. Ferraris; Mysi D. Hoang; Douglas J. Long (1998). Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. ISBN 0-940228-47-5.
Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Scorpaeniformes" in FishBase. February 2006 version.
J. S. Nelson; T. C. Grande; M. V. H. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). Wiley. pp. 467–495. ISBN 978-1-118-34233-6.
Richard van der Laan; William N. Eschmeyer & Ronald Fricke (2014). "Family-group names of Recent fishes". Zootaxa. 3882 (2): 001–230. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3882.1.1. PMID 25543675.
Hyuck Joon Kwun; Jin-Koo Kim (2003). "Molecular phylogeny and new classification of the genera Eulophias and Zoarchias (PISCES, Zoarcoidei)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 69 (3): 787–795. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.06.025. PMID 23845463.
Catherine W. Mecklenburg (2003). "Family Anoplopomatidae Jordan & Gilbert 1883 sablefishes" (PDF). California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklists of Fishes. 2.
Catherine W. Mecklenburg & William N. Eschmeyer (2003). "Family Hexagrammidae Gill 1889 Greenlings" (PDF). California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklists of Fishes. 2.
Catherine W. Mecklenburg (2003). "Family Trichodontidae Bleeker 1859 — sand fishes" (PDF). California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklists of Fishes. 15.
Mamoru Yabe (1985). "Comaprative Osteology and Myology of the Superfamily Cottoidea OPisces:Scorpaeniformes), and its Phylogenetic Classification". Memoirs off the Faculty of Fishes Hokkaido University. 32 (1): 1–130.
Catherine W. Mecklenburg & Boris A. Sheiko (2003). "Family Cyclopteridae Bonaparte 1831 - lumpsuckers" (PDF). 6.

Ricardo Betancur-R; Edward O. Wiley; Gloria Arratia; et al. (2017). "Phylogenetic classification of bony fishes". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 17 (162): 162. doi:10.1186/s12862-017-0958-3. PMC 5501477. PMID 28683774.

Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.

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