|Stout Beardfish, (P. nobilis)|
D. E. Rosen & Patterson, 1969
The beardfishes consist of a single extant genus, Polymixia, of deep-sea marine ray-finned fish named for their pair of long hyoid barbels. At present they are classified in their own order Polymixiiformes, but as Nelson says, "few groups have been shifted back and forth as frequently as this one". For instance, they have previously been classified as belonging to the Beryciformes. They are of little economic importance.
They are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific Ocean. They are bottom-dwelling fish, found down to about 800 m (2,600 ft) depth. Most are relatively small fish, although one species is over 40 cm (16 in) in length.
There is currently one extant family in this order and several extinct genera:
Timeline of genera
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Polymixiiformes" in FishBase. February 2006 version.
- Joseph S. Nelson. Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-54713-1.
- Paxton, John R. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 161. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.