Some authors have suggested that the octodontids should be reclassified in the order Lagomorpha. Older literature includes the tuco-tucos in the family, as the subfamily Ctenomyinae, but these animals are normally now treated as a separate family, the Ctenomyidae.
Members of the genus Aconaemys are referred to as rock rats, and members of genus Octodon are all called degus, though the name Degu on its own implies O. degu. The single member of Spalacopus, S. cyanus, is called the Coruro. Members of the other genera are called viscacha rats: note, however, that viscachas are not octodontids - they are members of the chinchilla family.
Most octodontids are nocturnal, social, burrowing animals, though the Degu is largely diurnal.