The phyletic status of the speciose and diverse family Cichlidae is investigated. In accordance with the current methods of cladistic analysis a wide range of perciform taxa is included for outgroup comparison. Attention is centred upon the anatomy of the adductor mandibulae muscle, elements of the pharyngeal jaw apparatus and the microbranchiospines.
On the basis of five apomorphic characters it is proposed that the Cichlidae, as
presently recognized, is monophyletic. [Note: A list of these five proposed cichlid
synapomorphies is available here.]