Phylogeny and biogeography of the Malagasy and Australasian rainbowfishes (Teleostei: Melanotaenioidei): Gondwanan vicariance and evolution in freshwater

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
John S Sparks, W Leo Smith


Phylogenetic relationships of the Malagasy and Australasian rainbowfishes are investigated using 4394 characters derived from five mitochondrial genes (12S, 16S, tRNA-Valine, ND5, and COI), three nuclear genes (28S, histone H3, and TMO-4c4), and 102 morphological transformations. This study represents the first phylogenetic analysis of the endemic Malagasy family Bedotiidae and includes a nearly complete taxonomic review of all nominal species, as well as numerous undescribed species. Simultaneous analysis of the molecular and morphological datasets results in two equally most parsimonious trees. Results indicate that Bedotiidae (Bedotia+Rheocles) and Bedotia are monophyletic, whereas Rheocles is paraphyletic with the inclusion of two recently described species from northeastern Madagascar, R. vatosoa, and R. derhami. Rheocles vatosoa and R. derhami are sister taxa, and this clade is recovered as the sister group to Bedotia. The remaining species of Rheocles are not sexually dimorphic and comprise a clade that is recovered as the sister group to Bedotia+(R. derhami+R. vatosoa), all of which are sexually dichromatic, and sexually dimorphic for pigmentation and fin development. Three geographically distinct clades are recovered w...Continue Reading


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