Most Beryciforms inhabit the tropical seas and the great depths. A characteristic feature of Beryciforms is the presence of spines of considerable robustness in their fins, as well as depressions near the operculum, which in certain species can present chemiluminescent bacterial growths. The body is laterally compressed, and generally has large eyes that allow them to see in low light conditions such as caves and at night. They are carnivorous fish, which feed on small fish and invertebrates. From the 8 cm of the smallest species, there are species that can reach sizes of 60cm.

Beryciforms are mostly nocturnal species, some species can be found at 2,000 meters deep, while others approach the surface at night. During the daytime, and in those species located in more superficial waters, we can find Beryciforms taking shelter in caves or cracks in the rocks.

At present, a total of 104 species of Beryciforms are known, distributed in 2 suborders, 8 families, 24 genera.