Several features that have been used to classify gobioid fishes are discussed, Polarity information is provided, when evidence is available, to provide better information for further studies on gobioid relationships, Odontobutidae new family is described to include three genera (Micropercops,
Odontobutis and Perccottus) that had been previously assigned to the Eleotrididae. Four synapomorphies associated with the pectoral girdle, caudal skeleton, dorsal fin, and scale morphology corroborate monophyly of a group consisting of all gobioids except odontobutids and rhyacichthyids.
The remaining eleotridids are assigned to the gobiid subfamilies Butinae and Eleotridinae. Specializations in the jaw musculature and caudal skeleton are presented to define the subfamily Eleotridinae. Patterns of papilla and pterygiophore insertion are congruent within the odontobutids and
butines, but show little congruence within the Eleotridinae, and we conclude that while these characters may be of some value in investigating relationships within families and subfamilies, they are uninformative of interfamilial relationships within the Gobioidei.
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