Ophthalmosauridae is a node-based taxon defined by Ryosuke Motani (1999) as "the last common ancestor of Brachypterygius extremus and Ophthalmosaurus icenicus and all of its descendants". The definition he proposed for Ophthalmosauria was exactly the same. In this case both definitions are synonyms. The cladogram below follows the topology from a 2010 analysis by Patrick S. Druckenmiller and Erin E. Maxwell.
Valentin Fischer, Edwige Masure, Maxim S. Arkhangelsky and Pascal Godefroit (2011) described a new genus of Ophthalmosauridae. They redefined it as "the last common ancestor of Arthropterygius chrisorum and Ophthalmosaurus icenicus and all of its descendants". In this case Ophthalmosauria isn't a junior synonym of Ophthalmosauridae. The cladogram below follows Fischer et al. 2011.
*Note: Placement of Ophthalmosauria by definition.
Fischer et al. (2012) described another new genus of Ophthalmosauridae. They defined for the first time two subfamilies within the Ophthalmosauridae, Ophthalmosaurinae and Platypterygiinae. Ophthalmosaurus and Platypterygius were found to be non-monophyletic. Ophthalmosauridae was characterized by a reduced extracondylar area, a plate-like dorsal trochanter, a humerus with a facet for an anterior accessory element and the absence of notching on the paddle elements of the forefin. The cladogram below follows Fischer et al. 2012.