Systematic relationships within the Cirrhitoidei, a suborder of five closely related families, have been uncertain for over a century. This is particularly true in reference to the families Cheilodactylidae and Latridae, which have been revised numerous times over the past several decades. Species that have been included in these two families are found in temperate regions around the world, which has led to regionally-focused studies that have only exacerbated taxonomic confusion. Here we examine systematic relationships within the Cheilodactylidae and the Latridae using ultraconserved genomic elements with near complete taxonomic sampling, and place our results in the context of the Cirrhitoidei. Our results agree with previous findings suggesting that Cheilodactylidae is restricted to two South African species, with the type species of the family, Cheilodactylus fasciatus Lacépède, forming a clade with C. pixi Smith that together is more closely related to the Chironemidae than to other species historically associated with the genus. We also strongly resolve the relationships of species within the Latridae. As a result of our analyses we revise the taxonomy of Latridae, name a new genus, and re-elevate Chirodactylus and Morwong.
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