A survey of characters defining the Neoteleostei, Eurypterygii, Ctenosquamata, Acanthomorpha, Paracanthopterygii and Acanthopterygii convincingly places the Lampridiformes within the acanthomorph clade. Lampridiforms are primitive with respect to the Percomorpha but their precise placement
among basal acanthomorphs remains unclear. In the absence of a specific sister-group hypothesis, Polymixia. percopsiform and beryciform taxa were used as outgroups in a cladistic analysis of the order. Monophyly of Lampridiformes is supported by four apomorphies; three are correlated
modifications related to the evolution of a unique feeding mechanism in which the maxilla slides forward with the premaxilla during jaw protrusion. The Veliferidae are the sister group of all other lampridiforms. The deep-bodied (bathysomous) lampridiforms are not monophyletic because Lampris
is the sister group of the elongate (taeniosomous) families. Stylephorus is placed as the sister group of all other taeniosomous families. The Radiicephalidae are hypothesized to be the sister group of the Lophotidae, a clade that forms the sister group of the Regalecidae + Trachipteridae.
Ateleopodid, mirapinnid, and eutaeniiophorid fishes are not lampridiforms. Bajaichthys is allied with living lampridiform fishes but Pharmacichthys is not a lampridiform. The affinities of Aipichthys and Bathysomous are unknown.
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