Characiformes

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Acestrorhynchidae
Alestiidae
Anostomidae
Characidae
Chilodontidae
Citharinidae
Crenuchidae
Ctenoluciidae
Curimatidae
Cynodontidae
Distichodontidae
Erythrinidae
Gasteropelecidae
Hemiodontidae
Hepsetidae
Lebiasinidae
Parodontidae
Prochilodontidae
Salminopsidae 
Serrasalmidae
Sorbinicharacidae 

The Characiformes are an order of ray-finned fish, comprising the characins and their allies. There are a few thousand different species, including the well-known piranha and tetras.[1]

Contents

Taxonomy

Characiformes is part of a series called Otophysi within the superorder Ostariophysi. Otophysi contains four other orders, Cypriniformes, Siluriformes, and Gymnotiformes.[1] Characiformes forms a group known as Characaphysi with Siluriformes and Gymnotiformes.[2] Characiformes is the sister group to the orders Siluriformes and Gymnotiformes, though this has been debated in light of recent molecular evidence.[1]

Originally the characins were all grouped within a single family, the Characidae, which was included in the Cypriniformes.[citation needed] Since then about 15 different families have been separated out. However, classification varies somewhat, and it appears the circumscribed Characidae are still polyphyletic.[citation needed] Currently, there are eighteen families, about 270 genera, and at least 1674 species.[1] The suborder Citharinoidei, which contains the families Distichodontidae and Citharinidae, is considered the sister group to the rest of the characins, suborder Characoidei.[2]

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