Temporal range: Triassic - Recent
Arapaima (Arapaima gigas)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Subclass: Neopterygii
Infraclass: Teleostei
Superorder: Osteoglossomorpha
Greenwood, Rosen, Weitzman & Myers, 1966

and see text

Specimen of the primitive ichthyodectiform Allothrissops

The Osteoglossomorpha are a group of bony fish in the Teleostei.

Xiphactinus audax three-dimensionally restoreded skeleton in the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado

Notable members

A notable member is the arapaima (Arapaima gigas), the largest freshwater fish in South America and one of the largest bony fishes alive. Other notable members include the bizarre freshwater elephantfishes of family Mormyridae, and the extinct predator, Xiphactinus.


Most osteoglossomorph lineages are extinct today. Only the somewhat diverse "bone-tongues" (Osteoglossiformes) and two species of mooneyes (Hiodontiformes) remain.[1]

Basal and incertae sedis (Extinct)

  • Family Juiquanichthyidae Ma, 1984
  • Family Kuyangichthidae Liu, Ma & Liu, 1982
  • Family Lycopteridae Liu, Su, Huang & Chang, 1963
  • Genus Jiaohichthys
  • Genus Jinanichthys
  • Genus Liaoxiichthys
  • Genus Nierrkunia
  • Genus Suziichthys

Order Ichthyodectiformes Bardeck & Sprinkle, 1969 (Extinct)

  • Basal and incertae sedis
    • Genus Ascalabothrissops Arratia, 2000
    • Genus Chiromystus
    • Genus Occithrissops
    • Genus Pachythrissops (tentatively placed here)
    • Family Allothrissopidae Patterson & Rosen, 1977
    • Family Thryptodontidae (tentatively placed here)
  • Suborder Ichthyodectoidei Romer, 1966

Order Hiodontiformes

  • Basal and incertae sedis (Extinct)
    • Genus Chetungichthys Chang & Chou, 1977
    • Genus Plesiolycoptera
    • Genus Yanbiania
  • Family Hiodontidae mooneyes

Order Osteoglossiformes

  • Basal and incertae sedis (Extinct)
    • Genus Tanolepis
    • Genus Xixiaichthys
    • Family Huashiidae Chang & Chou, 1977
  • Suborder Notopteroidei
  • Suborder Osteoglossoidei
    • Genus Aokiichthys Yabumoto, 1994 (Extinct)
    • Genus Chauliopareion (Extinct)
    • Genus Eurychir (Extinct)
    • Genus Genartina (Extinct)
    • Genus Musperia (Extinct)
    • Genus Paralycoptera Chang & Chou, 1977 (Extinct)
    • Genus Phareoides Taverne, 1973 (Extinct)
    • Genus Singida (Extinct)
    • Genus Yungkangichthys Chang & Chou, 1977 (Extinct)
    • Family Heterotididae (formerly included in Osteoglossidae)
    • Family Osteoglossidae arowanas
    • Family Pantodontidae freshwater butterflyfishes
    • Family "Phaerodutidae" (Extinct)


  1. See references in Haaramo (2008)

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