This order contains five families of small to medium-sized, soft-bodied fishes (Nielsen et al. 1999). Most are deepsea fishes found below 200 m, but some species are common in shallow water around corals reefs. Patterson & Rosen (1989) questioned the monophyly of the order. Nelson (1994) included the Parabrotulidae here, but Nielsen (1999) excluded the family from the order. Nelson (2006), however, has retained Parabrotulidae in this order until a more suitable placement is found.
Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons 600 pp.
Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.
Nielsen, J.G., Cohen, D.M., Markle, D.F. & Robins, C.R. 1999. Ophidiiform Fishes of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of pearlfishes, cusk-eels, brotulas and other ophidiiform species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125 Vol. 18. 178 pp.
Nielsen. J.G. 1999. Families Carapidae, Ophidiidae, Bythitidae, Aphionidae. pp. 1978-1985 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 1397-2068 pp.
Patterson, C. & Rosen, D.E. 1989. The Paracanthopterygii revisited: order and disorder. 5-36 in Cohen, D.M. (ed.). Papers on the systematics of gadiform fishes. Science Series. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 32: 1-262