Evolution and systematics

Although it is remarkably derived, this order of fishes dates from the early Eocene epoch or, possibly, the late Cretaceous period. There are nine families, including the spikefishes (Tri-acanthodidae, 11 genera and 21 species), the triplespines (Tri-acanthidae, four genera and seven spp.), the boxfishes (Ostraciidae, 11 genera and 37 spp.), the filefishes and leather-jackets (Monacanthidae, 25 genera and at least 104 spp.), the triggerfishes (Balistidae, 12 genera and at least 37 spp.), the threetooth puffer (Triodontidae, one genus and one species), the pufferfishes (Tetraodontidae, 26 genera and at least 170 species, with one species that has two subspecies), the porcu-pinefishes (Diodontidae, seven genera and 20 spp.), and the molas or ocean sunfishes (Molidae, three genera and four spp.).

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