While monophyly of the family Mugilidae has never seriously been challenged, phylogenetic placement of this enigmatic assemblage has been a long standing problem of systematic ichthyology. In a recent study of basal atherinoid fishes, I suggested a novel alignment for the grey mullets
(=Mugilomorpha of Stiassny, 1990), as the sister group of the atherinomorph assemblage. My proposal was based primarily on the discovery of a series of derived similarities in the branchial musculature of mugilids and atherinomorphs. But countering this alignment was the presence of derived
similarity between the pelvic girdle of mugilids and of that of percomorph fishes. This character conflict is further explored, and additional character systems are incorporated into the study.
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