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Free Content Phylogenetic Relationships in the Nereididae (Annelida: Polychaeta), Chiefly in the Subfamily Gymnonereidinae, and the Monophyly of the Namanereidinae

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The cladistic relationships of 15 genera in the Nereididae are investigated in order to establish whether the Namanereidinae is monophyletic and to develop an hypothesis of precise outgroup relationships for the Namanereidinae. The cladistic analysis is based on 37 morphological characters with character state polarity determined using the outgroup method. Outgroup taxa include the hesionid genera Hesione, Leocrates and Ophiodromus. The resultant cladistic hypothesis is similar to that proposed by Fitzhugh (1987). The Namanereidinae is monophyletic and the sister group of the remaining Nereididae. The gymnonereidine genera included in the analysis are relatively more plesiomorphic compared to the nereidine genera, and Stenoninereis is the most plesiomorphic gymnonereid. Further synapomorphies for the Namanereidinae (spherical palpostyles and dorsal aciculae supporting the neuropodia) are identified and the synapomorphy identified by Fitzhugh (the lack of ceratophores [cirrophores] of the dorsal cirri) is considered homoplasious within the Nereididae. The synapomorphies are discussed in relation to present theories on the origin of the Namanereidinae.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1991

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