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Comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of all species of swordtails and platies (Pisces: Genus Xiphophorus)
February 13, 2013
12:26 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Open access: http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....-13-25.pdf

Abstract

Males in some species of the genus Xiphophorus, small freshwater fishes from MesoAmerica, have an extended caudal fin, or sword – hence their common name “swordtails”. Longer swords are preferred by females from both sworded and – surprisingly also, nonsworded (platyfish) species that belong to the same genus. Swordtails have been studied  widely as models in research on sexual selection. Specifically, the pre-existing bias  hypothesis was interpreted to best explain the observed bias of females in presumed ancestral lineages of swordless species that show a preference for assumed derived males with swords  over their conspecific swordless males. However, many of the phylogenetic relationships  within this genus still remained unresolved. Here we construct a comprehensive molecular  phylogeny of all 26 known Xiphophorus species, including the four recently described  species (X. kallmani, X. mayae, X. mixei and X. monticolus). We use two mitochondrial and  six new nuclear markers in an effort to increase the understanding of the evolutionary  relationships among the species in this genus. Based on the phylogeny, the evolutionary  history and character state evolution of the sword was reconstructed and found to have  originated in the common ancestral lineage of the genus Xiphophorus and that it was lost again secondarily.

Cake or death?
February 13, 2013
6:30 pm
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Graham Ramsay
Blairgowrie - UK
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Thanks Matt. Superb!!! Will devour this over the next few days. Looks like it will make a good subject for a talk at our club sometime in the Spring.

February 14, 2013
8:18 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Yep, and am planning on getting some profiles done if I can get hold of some decent photos.

Cake or death?
February 14, 2013
12:55 pm
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oaken
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I might know a guy who can help you out with some photos. He keeps around 15 species of Xiphophorus and usually takes pretty good photos so I can send him an e-mail and ask if you want.

February 14, 2013
4:57 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Yes please Gustav!

Cake or death?
February 14, 2013
6:29 pm
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BillT
Eugene, Oregon
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There is a Xiphophorus Stock Center in Texas, set up for research purposes.

This is the webpage for their fish images which also has a contact for making requests for images.

I have no idea what their policy is, but it would not surprise me if public education is within the scope of what they are funded for. Since Seriously Fish is (I assume) non-profit and seems to me to be the best purveyor of solid fish information for the public, I would guess they would be happy to let you use their images unless there were other things like copyright constraints going on.

Bill Trevarrow [email protected]
February 14, 2013
6:30 pm
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BillT
Eugene, Oregon
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Opps, forget the web address:

 

http://www.xiphophorus.txstate.....eries.html

Bill Trevarrow [email protected]
February 15, 2013
8:07 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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That's great Bill, thanks a lot. I'll send them an email this morning.

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