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Atheriniformes: Usually two dorsal fins, the first, if present, with flexible spines; anal fin usually preceded by a spine; lateral line absent or very weak; branchiostegal rays 4-7; narial openings paired; pelvic fins abdominal, subadominal, or thoracic in position (essentially absent in female phallostethids and highly modified in male phallostethids); parietals usually present.

Families in this order: