Ovalentaria is a clade of ray-finned fishes within the Percomorpha, referred to as a subseries. It is made up of a group of fish families which are referred to in Fishes of the World's fifth edition as incertae sedis, as well as the orders Mugiliformes, Cichliformes, and Blenniiformes. It was named by W. L. Smith and T. J. Near in Wainwright et al. (2012) based on a molecular phylogeny, but the authors suggested that the group was united by the presence of demersal eggs that are attached to a substrate. Some authors have used the ordinal name Stiassnyiformes for a clade including Mugiloidei, Plesiopidae, Blenniiformes, Atherinomorpha, and Cichlidae, and this grouping does appear to be monophyletic.[1]

Chromis limbata3.jpg
Atlantic chromis (Chromis limbata), a damselfish
Strongylura incisa.jpg
Reef needlefish Strongylura incisa
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Clade: Percomorpha
(unranked): Ovalentaria
W. L. Smith and T. J. Near, 2012
male Egyptian Mouthbrooder (a cichlid)


In the 5th edition of Fishes of the World, the Ovalentaria are classified as:[1]

The sister clades to the Ovalentaria is the group of taxa called the Carangimorpharia or Carangaria, which includes the flatfishes, billfishes, and jacks among others.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c 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. ^ Ricardo Betancur-R; Edward O. Wiley; Gloria Arratia; et al. (2017). "Phylogenetic classification of bony fishes". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 17 (1): 1. doi:10.1186/s12862-017-0958-3. PMC 5501477. PMID 28683774.