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Temporal range: Early Cretaceous to present(molecular clock)
Pholidichthys leucotaenia 1.jpg
Pholidichthys leucotaenia, the convict blenny
Freshwater angelfish biodome.jpg
Pterophyllum scalare, the freshwater angelfish, a cichlid
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
(unranked): Ovalentaria
Order: Cichliformes
R. Betancur-R et al. 2013
Type species
Cichla ocellaris
Bloch & Schneider, 1801

Cichliformes /ˈsɪklɪfɔːrmz/ is an order of fishes. Its members were previously classified under the order Perciformes, but now many authorities consider it to be an independent order within the subseries Ovalentaria.


There are two families within the Cichliformes; the convict blennies are a small family consisting of a single genus and two species, while the cichlids are one of the largest vertebrate families with over 202 genera and more than 1700 species. It is molecular data which placed the two seemingly dissimilar families in the same taxon.[1]

The families are:


  1. ^ J. S. Nelson; T. C. Grande; M. V. H. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). Wiley. p. 752. ISBN 978-1-118-34233-6.
  2. ^ Bailly N, ed. (2017). "Pholidichthyidae Jordan, 1896". FishBase. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  3. ^ Bailly N, ed. (2015). "Cichlidae Bonaparte, 1835". FishBase. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 5 November 2018.