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Beryciformes is a group of morphologically and ecologically diverse fishes found near the base of the spiny-finned fishes (Acanthomorpha)(Near et al., 2013). Members of the Beryciformes are typically found either active on reefs at night (Holocentridae, Anomalopidae, Monocentridae, and a few Trachichthyidae) or living their lives in deep waters usually >200 m depth. Several lineages (Trachichthyidae, Berycidae, Holocentridae) are associated with bottom structures, such as wrecks, deepwater reefs, pinacles, rises, or seamounts. Many other beryciforms are meso- or bathypelagic (Diretmidae, Anoplogastridae), including several families that were formerly separated out as the Stephanoberyciformes (Johnson and Patterson, 1993), such as the Melamphaidae, Rondeletiidae, Barbourisiidae, Cetomimidae. New molecular evolution studies place the members of the Stephanoberyciformes within the Beryciformes (Betancur et al., 2013; Near et al., 2013). Several of those stephanoberycoid lineages show substantial reductions in their ossification (Moore, 1993). 

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© Jon Moore

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