Sandfish species

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Sandfish species
Milkfish (Chanos chanos)

Milkfish ( Chanos chanos )

Subclass : Real bony fish (Teleostei)
Overcohort : Clupeocephala
Cohort : Otomorpha
Sub-cohort : Ostariophysi
Order : Sandfish species
Scientific name
Rosen & Greenwood , 1970
Scientific name of the  order
Regan , 1909

The sandfish-like (Gonorynchiformes) consist of three families with 37 species , of which 31 are freshwater fish , in seven genera . The families Gonorynchidae and Chanidae are monotypical, that is, they each contain only one recent genus.


Sandfish are elongated fish and grow to be two centimeters to six feet long. EO Wiley and G. David Johnson give the following synapomorphies for the Gonorynchiformes :

  1. The bones and cartilage of the interorbital septum are largely reduced; the pterosphenoid is small and widely separated; the basic phenoid is absent.
  2. Parietals small, widely separated.
  3. Jockstrap stretched.
  4. Epicentralia ( bones ) present, three series (including “head ribs” that attach to the skull).
  5. An epibranchial organ is present.
  6. The first neural arch is enlarged and connected to the occipital .
  7. Pharyngealia inferiora (“lower pharynx”, fifth ceratobranchial) toothless.
  8. The ligamentum baudeloti (a ligament between the exoccipitale and the shoulder girdle [supracleithrum] that limits its lateral movement) is not present.
  9. The foremost rib (on the third vertebra) is significantly wider than the following.
  10. The esophagus is long and extends a little into the intestinal cavity.
  11. Within the esophagus, spiral folds, secondary folds, and posterior papillae.
  12. The second uroneural is extended anterio- ventrally .


External system

The Gonorynchiformes are an order of the real bony fish (Teleostei), belong to the sub-cohort of the Ostariophysi and, as the Anotophysi or Anotophysa, are placed alongside the Otophysi / Otophysa ( carp-like , new-world knife fish , tetra and catfish ) as a sister group .

The phylogenetic relationships are shown in the following cladogram :


 Herring-like (Clupeiformes)




 Sandfish (Gonorynchiformes)


 Carp-like (Cypriniformes)


 Tetras (Characiformes)


 New World Knifefish (Gymnotiformes)


 Catfish (Siluriformes)

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Internal system

The family relationships are shown in the following cladogram:

Gonorynchus gonorynchus
Kneria angolensis from Brehms Tierleben Volume 8. Third edition. (1892)

 Sandfish (Gonorynchidae)


 Milk fish (Chanidae)

  Slender fish  (Kneriidae)  

 African mudfish (phractolaeminae)


 Ear fish ( Kneria )







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The marine, algae-eating milkfish ( Chanos chanos ) is an important food fish in Southeast Asia. The larvae living in the brackish water are caught and then grown in ponds until they are used.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ EO Wiley & G. David Johnson: A teleost classification based on monophyletic groups. in Joseph S. Nelson, Hans-Peter Schultze & Mark VH Wilson: Origin and Phylogenetic Interrelationships of Teleosts. 2010, Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, Munich, ISBN 978-3-89937-107-9 .
  2. Thomas J. Near, Alex Dornburga, Matt Friedman: Phylogenetic relationships and timing of diversification in gonorynchiform fishes inferred using nuclear gene DNA sequences (Teleostei: Ostariophysi). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, DOI: 0.1016 / j.ympev.2014.07.013

Web links

Commons : Sandfish-like  - collection of images, videos, and audio files