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Free Content Anatomical Description of Normanichthys Crockeri (Scorpaeniformes, Incertae Sedis: Family Normanichthyidae)

To reconsider the doubtful systematic position of Normanichthys crockeri in the suborder Cottoidei, its osteology, myology and other morphology are described. Normanichthys does not share 10 of the 20 synapomorphies that limit the Cottoidei (4th pharyngobranchial absent; basihyal absent or rudiment; posttemporal fossa reduced; extrinsic muscle of swimbladder between cranium and cleithrum; pleural ribs absent on anterior vertebrae; lachrymal-palatine articulation present; scapula separated from coracoid, hypurapophysis absent; one or two hypurals; levator externus III absent). Other 10 synapomorphies of Cottoidei are shared by Normanichthys, but each of them is known to occur homoplasiously (or synapomorphic) in non-cottoid fishes (no basisphenoid absent; small intercalar; no metapterygoid lamina; scapular foramen open; no anal-fin spine; hyohyoidei abductores II fused to its antimere; no extensor proprius; no adductor dorsalis; epipleural attached to vertebra). Moreover, Normanichthys has the swimbladder which is not present in all cottoid fishes. The placement of the monotypic family Normanichthyidae in the suborder Cottoidei is rejected. Normanichthys is regarded as a member of the order Scorpaeniformes because it has the suborbital stay which is the only synapomorphy of this order. At least Normanichthys is not a member of the monophyletic taxon Cottoidei, but its suborder rank is still uncertain because its reasonable sister group could not been clarified.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1996

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