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Phylogeny of the species of the superfamily Echeneoidea (Perciformes: Carangoidei: Echeneidae, Rachycentridae, and Coryphaenidae), with an interpretation of echeneid hitchhiking behaviour

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A phylogenetic analysis, based on 138 putatively informative characters, of the 11 species of the superfamily Echeneoidea (Echeneidae, Rachycentridae, and Coryphaenidae) resulted in a single most parsimonious tree. This tree strongly supports the monophyly of the superfamily with the following relationships: Coryphaenidae + (Rachycentridae + (Phtheirichthys lineatus + ((Echeneis naucrates + Echeneis neucratoides) + (Remora brachyptera + (Remora remora + (Remora australis + (Remora osteochir + Remora albescens))))))). One of the traditional subfamilies, Echeneiinae, and one of the traditional genera, Remora, were both found to be paraphyletic. A new classification of the family based on natural groupings eliminated the subfamilial designations and subsumed the genus Remorina under the genus Remora, rendering it monophyletic. An examination of the behavioural data resulted in the hypothesis of a gradual step-by-step development of "hitchhiking" behaviour from general schooling behaviour (outgroups) to attaching to a select few types of hosts in the pelagic environment (as exhibited by R. osteochir).

Une analyse phylogénétique basée sur 138 caractères présumés informatifs des 11 espèces de la super-famille des Echeneoidea (Echeneidae, Rachycentridae et Coryphaenidae) a donné un seul arbre de parcimonie maximale. Cet arbre appuie fortement l'hypothèse du monophylétisme de la super-famille selon les relations suivantes : Coryphaenidae + (Rachycentridae + (Phtheirichthys lineatus + ((Echeneis naucrates + Echeneis neucratoides) + (Remora brachyptera + (Remora remora + (Remora australis + (Remora osteochir + Remora albescens))))))). L'une des sous-familles classiques, les Echeneiinae, et l'un des genres classiques, Remora, se sont avérés être paraphylétiques. Une nouvelle classification de la famille basée sur les regroupements naturels élimine les sous-familles et subsume le genre Remorina dans le genre Remora, ce qui le rend monophylétique. Un examen des données comportementales a donné lieu à l'hypothèse de l'évolution graduelle pas à pas du comportement de « remorquage » à partir d'un comportement général de nage en bancs (groupes externes) à la fixation sur quelques types bien particuliers d'hôtes en milieu pélagique (comme chez R. osteochir).[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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