Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research - early view
The Asian (nandid) and Afro-Neotropical (polycentrid) leaffishes represent two superficially similar, but historically poorly diagnosed families – a situation resulting in a convoluted systematic history. Here, and including for the first time in a molecular study all leaffish genera, we generate a hypothesis of the phylogenetic history of both groups. We analyse a multilocus molecular data set encompassing 257 acanthomorph taxa, carry out a survey and assessment of selected osteological characters for the polycentrid leaffishes and also provide a reanalysis of previously published morphological data. Our results confirm: (1) that the Polycentridae and Nandidae are only remotely related, and hence, the classic leaffishes are diphyletic; (2) that the Polycentridae is monophyletic, with new skeletal synapomorphies being congruent with molecular data in placing the enigmatic Afronandus – a taxon that thus far has never been included in any molecular study – as sistergroup to the remaining genera; (3) the monophyly of the Nandidae + Badidae and their inclusion into a larger monophyletic group – along with the Pristolepididae, Anabantoidei and Channoidei – comprising the Labyrinthici sensu Rosen & Patterson. We also review the morphological and molecular evidence for both the conflicting placement of Pristolepis and the putative sistergroup relationship between the labyrinth fishes (Anabantoidei) and snakeheads (Channoidei).
More congratulations in order here, to long-term friend and SF contributor Rupert Collins.
April 30, 2011
If anyone wants a copy of the paper they can download it from goo.gl/2kRSCP
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