Temporal range: Early Cretaceous - Recent
Milkfish, Chanos chanos
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Superorder: Ostariophysi
Order: Gonorynchiformes
L. S. Berg, 1940

Chanidae (milkfish)
Gonorynchidae (beaked salmons)
Kneriidae (shellears)
Phractolaemidae (hingemouths)

The Gonorynchiformes are an order of ray-finned fish that includes the important food source, the milkfish (Chanos chanos, family Chanidae), and a number of lesser-known types, both marine and freshwater.

The alternate spelling "Gonorhynchiformes", with an "h", is frequently seen but not official.

Gonorynchiformes have small mouths and no teeth. They are the sole group in the clade Anotophysi, a subgroup of the superorder Ostariophysi. They are characterized by a primitive Weberian apparatus formed by the first three vertebrae and one or more cephalic ribs within the head. This apparatus is believed to be a hearing organ, and is found in a more advanced and complex form in the related cypriniform fish, such as carp.[1] Also like the cypriniforms, the gonorynchiforms produce a substance from their skin when injured that dissolves into the water and acts an alarm signal to other fish.[2]


Although many of the families are rather small, there are several fossil genera. This listing of the groups of Gonorynchiformes includes fossil fish with a short description.[1] They are listed in approximate order of how primitive their characteristics are.

Order Sorbininardiformes (extinct)

Family Sorbininardidae (extinct)
Sorbininardus (extinct) - sister group to all other Gonorynchiformes

Order Gonorynchiformes

Suborder Chanoidei
Aethalinopsis (extinct) - sister group to Chanidae from Early Cretaceous.
Family Chanidae - milkfishes
Subfamily Rubiesichthyinae (extinct)
Gordichthys (extinct) - Early Cretaceous Chanid
Rubiesichthys (extinct) - Early Cretaceous Chanid
Subfamily Chaninae
Dastilbe (extinct) - Early Cretaceous Chanid
Parachanos (extinct) - Early Cretaceous Chanid
Tharrhias (extinct) - Early Cretaceous Chanid
Suborder Gonorynchoidei - beaked sandfishes
Apulichthys (extinct) - primitive sister group to Gonorynchoids.
Family Gonorynchidae
Notogoneus (extinct) - from North America, Europe, Australia; some freshwater; Late Cretaceous to Oligocene; sister group to Gonorynchus
Charitosomus (extinct) - Cretaceous Gonorynchid
Judeichthys (extinct)
Ramallichthys (extinct)
Charitopsis (extinct)
Suborder Knerioidei
Family Kneriidae
Family Phractolaemidae

Timeline of genera

Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Cretaceous Holocene Pleistocene Pliocene Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene Late Cretaceous Early Cretaceous Neohalecopsis Chanos Notogoneus Coelogaster Halecopsis Charitosomus Salminops Lusitanichthys Ramallichthys Judeichthys Charitopsis (fish) Caeus Tharrhias Dastilbe Chanopsis Rubiesichthys Aethalionopsis Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Cretaceous Holocene Pleistocene Pliocene Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene Late Cretaceous Early Cretaceous


  1. 1 2 Nelson, Joseph, S. (2006). Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-25031-7.
  2. Banister, Keith F. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 96–97. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/11/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.