Hypotheses of character evolution and phylogeny based on ontogenetic data of the trichiurids are compared with previously proposed phylogenies developed from characters of adult morphology. Ontogenetic data support or help to resolve previous arguments of homology and character polarity
from adult morphology. Larval morphology strongly supports a monophyletic Trichiuridae. The larval data provide further evidence to support several of the monophyletic groups previously proposed from adult morphological data. Ontogenetic characters support the placement of Aphanopus
as the sister group to the rest of the trichiurids. Furthermore, larval characters provide evidence for the monophyly of the ecaudate trichiurids and support the same phyletic arrangement of Tentoriceps, Eupleurogrammus, and Lepturacanthus-Trichiurus as that resulting from a
previous analysis based on adult osteology.
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