The family Characidae is the most diverse among Neotropical fishes. Systematics of this family are mainly based on precladistic papers, and only recently a phylogenetic hypothesis for Characidae was proposed by the author. That phylogeny was based on 360 morphological characters studied for 160 species, including representatives of families related to Characidae. This paper is based on that phylogenetic analysis, with the analyzed characters described herein and documented, accompanied by comparisons of their definition and coding in previous papers. Synapomorphies of each node of the proposed phylogeny are listed, comparisons with previous classifications provided, and autapomorphies of the analyzed species listed. Taxonomic implications of the proposed classification and the position of the incertae sedis genera within Characidae are discussed. A discussion of the phylogenetic information of the characters used in the classical systematics of the Characidae is provided.La familia Characidae es la más diversa entre los peces neotropicales. La sistemática de esta familia está basada principalmente en trabajos pre-cladísticos, y sólo recientemente una hipótesis filogenética para Characidae fue propuesta por el autor. Esa filogenia estaba basada en 360 caracteres estudiados en 160 especies, incluyendo representantes de familias relacionadas a Characidae. Este trabajo está basado en ese análisis filogenético, y los caracteres analizados son aquí descriptos y documentados, comparando su definición y codificación con trabajos previos. Las sinapomorfías de cada nodo de la filogenia propuesta son listadas, y se incluyen comparaciones con clasificaciones previas; también se listan las autapomorfías de las especies analizadas. Las implicancias taxonómicas de la clasificación propuesta y la posición de los géneros incertae sedis dentro de Characidae son discutidas. También se presenta una discusión de la información filogenética de los caracteres usados en la sistemática clásica de Characidae.
This is the most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Characidae to date and the first large‐scale hypothesis of the family, combining myriad morphological data with molecular information. A total of 520 morphological characters were analysed herein, of which 98 are newly defined. Among the analysed taxa, 259 species were coded by examining specimens, three fossil species were coded from the literature, one species was coded almost completely from published figures, 122 were partially coded from the literature, and 88 were analysed exclusively from molecular data. The total number of species in the analysed dataset is 473. Analyses were made by parsimony under equal and extended implied weighting with a broad range of parameters. The final hypothesis was selected using a stability criterion that chooses among the most parsimonious trees of all searches. It was found by weighting molecular characters with the average homoplasy of entire partitions (markers). The resulting hypothesis is congruent with previous molecular‐based phylogenies of the family. The Characidae are monophyletic, with four main clades: the Spintherobolinae new subfamily; an expanded Stethaprioninae including the Grundulini, Gymnocharacini, Rhoadsiini and Stethaprionini; the Stevardiinae; and a clade composed of the Aphyocharacinae, Characinae, Cheirodontinae, Exodontinae and Tetragonopterinae. Also, a stem Characidae was found, as formed by the Eocene–Oligocene genera †Bryconetes and †Paleotetra as successive sister groups of extant members of the family. A subfamilial classification is proposed, but deep changes in the systematics that are beyond the scope of this study are still needed to classify the Characidae into monophyletic genera.
This study evaluates the phylogeny of ray‐finned fishes (Actinopterygii) combining most available information (44 markers from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA and 274 morphological characters). The molecular partition of the dataset was produced through a pipeline (GB‐to‐TNT) that allows the fast building of large matrices from GenBank format. The analysed dataset has 8104 species, including representatives of all orders and 95% of the 475 families of Actinopterygii, making it the most diverse phylogenetic dataset analysed to date for this clade of fishes. Analysed morphological characters are features historically considered diagnostic for families or orders, which can be unequivocally coded from the literature. Analyses are by parsimony under several weighting schemes. General results agree with previous classifications, especially for groups with better gene sampling and those long thought (from morphological evidence) to be monophyletic. Many clades have low support and some orders are not recovered as monophyletic. Additional data and synthetic studies of homology are needed to obtain synapomorphies and diagnoses for most clades.
Obtaining a well supported schema of phylogenetic relationships among the major groups of living organisms requires considering as much taxonomic diversity as possible, but the computational cost of calculating large phylogenies has so far been a major obstacle. We show here that the parsimony algorithms implemented in TNT can successfully process the largest phylogenetic data set ever analysed, consisting of molecular sequences and morphology for 73 060 eukaryotic taxa. The trees resulting from molecules alone display a high degree of congruence with the major taxonomic groups, with a small proportion of misplaced species; the combined data set retrieves these groups with even higher congruence. This shows that tree-calculation algorithms effectively retrieve phylogenetic history for very large data sets, and at the same time provides strong corroboration for the major eukaryotic lineages long recognized by taxonomists.
The freshwater fish genus Astyanax is one of the most diverse among the Characidae. The genus is defined by a combination of character states that are widely distributed in Characidae. In addition, the genus has the broadest geographical distribution in the family, being found in a great variety of environments of the Neotropical region. Although phylogenetic relationships were treated only partially, many authors agree that the genus is not monophyletic. In this contribution, we study the phylogenetic relationships of Astyanax in the context of the family Characidae, by combining morphological and molecular data. A total of 520 morphological characters, nine molecular markers and 608 taxa are analysed, of which 98 belong to Astyanax. According to our results, Astyanax is not monophyletic. We recovered species attributed to Astyanax in different subfamilies: Gymnocharacinae (including the type species), Stevardiinae and Tetragonopterinae. Among the species recovered in Gymnocharacinae, most (including the type species, the resurrected Psalidodon, and the new genus Andromakhe gen. nov.) were recovered in Gymnocharacini, while the remaining ones were recovered in Probolodini (transferred to Deuterodon or the new genus Makunaima gen. nov.).
The monotypic genus Carlastyanax Géry was defined to include Astyanax aurocaudatus, a morphologically odd species having, among other features, four teeth in the posterior premaxillary row and eight branched dorsal-fin rays. Later on, the characters used to define Carlastyanax were considered as invalid and this genus was synonymized with Astyanax. In this paper, we include Astyanax aurocaudatus in a phylogeny of the Characidae and obtain a sister-group relationship between this species and Creagrutus, within the Stevardiinae. The resurrection of Carlastyanax as a valid genus is therefore proposed. The analysis presented is the largest phylogeny of the Stevardiinae so far published. Relationships of this subfamily are also discussed.
Jenynsia luxata, a new species from northwestern Argentina, is described. This species is diagnosable from all other Jenynsia by the medial processes of left and right pelvic bones relatively reduced and separated from each other. The new species resembles J. multidentata, but it is further distinguished from this species by the absence of a swelling between the urogenital opening and the anterior base of the anal fin in females and details of coloration. Phylogenetic analyses, both under implied and equal weighting, recover the subgenera Plesiojenynsia and Jenynsia as monophyletic units. New information on previously missing characters of Jenynsia maculata is added. These data and phylogenetic characters coded for the new species herein described contribute to a better resolution of the phylogenetic relationships within the subgenus Jenynsia, which is herein supported by additional synapomorphies relative to previous phylogenies.Jenynsia luxata, una nueva especie del noroeste de Argentina, es descripta. Esta especie es diagnosticable por presentar los procesos mediales de los huesos pélvicos izquierdo y derecho relativamente reducidos y separados. La nueva especie se parece a J. multidentata, pero se distingue de ésta por la ausencia de un abultamiento entre la abertura urogenital y la base de la aleta anal en hembras y por detalles en el patrón de coloración. Los análisis filogenéticos, tanto bajo pesos implicados como iguales, recuperan los subgéneros Plesiojenynsia y Jenynsia como unidades monofiléticas. Se aporta nueva información sobre caracteres de J. maculata previamente codificados como entradas faltantes. Esos datos y los caracteres filogenéticos codificados para la nueva especie aquí descripta contribuyen a una mayor resolución de las relaciones filogenéticas dentro del subgénero Jenynsia, que está aquí soportado por sinapomorfías adicionales en relación a las filogenias previas.
The family Characidae, including more than 1000 species, lacks a phylogenetic diagnosis, with many of its genera currently considered as incertae sedis. The aims of the present study are to propose a phylogenetic diagnosis and to assess higher-level relationships of and within Characidae. In this regard, 360 morphological characters are studied for 160 species of Characidae and related families. Phylogenetic analyses under implied weighting and self-weighted optimization are presented, exploring a broad range of parameters. The analysis under self-weighted optimization is innovative for this size of matrices.
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