Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Ostraciinae (Tetraodontiformes: Ostraciidae)
Approximately 140 potential phylogenetic characters were recognized to vary among 19 species of ostraciines studied. Phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed on the basis of 108 characters (127 derived states). Two equally parsimonious cladograms of 158 steps, consistency index = 80%, retention index = 94%, were generated. Of the characters used in the analysis, 27 were hypothesized to display homoplastic states; of these, 10 showed no particular trend, 4 hypothesized an alternative resolution within Lactoria, and 13 are interpretable as reversals. Two characters were treated as unordered, thus not used in the analysis. Hypotheses of reduction are considered important in ostraciine evolution but do not constitute the dominant explanation for character evolution. Results indicated that ostraciines are monophyletic, consisting of two monophyletic subgroups, the Atlantic Acanthostracion and Lactophrys, and the Indo-Pacific Ostracion and Lactoria. Acanthostracion and Lactophrys are both monophyletic. Rhynchostracion is considered a junior synonym of Ostracion (six species) and Tetrosomus is considered a junior synonym of Lactoria (six species). In both cases recognition of the former genus would render the latter paraphyletic. Much of ostraciine distribution is sympatric. Two sister area relationships are evident: Caribbean/eastern Atlantic and Atlantic/Indo-Pacific.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 September 1995
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