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In search of notothenioid (Teleostei) relatives

By Cyril - Posted on 17 April 2014

TitleIn search of notothenioid (Teleostei) relatives
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsDettaï A, Lecointre G
AbstractNinety-five percent of the fish species known from the Antarctic continental shelf and upper slope are acanthomorphs, i.e. spiny teleosteans. Notothenioids (Suborder Notothenioidei) are acanthomorphs and so is their sister group. Unfortunately, until recently acanthomorph intra-relationships were so poorly known that it was necessary to sample all of this diversity just to search for a single sister group relationship. Using recent advances in acanthomorph molecular phylogenetics, particular properties of separate analyses and a new protocol of dataset combination, we identified a clade that contains the sister group of notothenioids, the Percidae (perches), and a number of relatives. Among these relatives arc the Serranidae (sea basses), the genera Trachinus (weeverfish), Chelidonichthys (gurnard), Scorpaena (scorpionfish), and a group composed of the Zoarcoidei (eelpouts) and the Cottoidei (sculpins) with the Gasterosteidae (sticklebacks) as their sister group. Interestingly, that clade contains 88% of the Fish species found on the Antarctic continental shelf and upper slope. The interrelationships of its components and their distribution show that the Antarctic benthic fish fauna has at least three origins.