Phylogenetic revision of Gymnotidae (Teleostei: Gymnotiformes), with descriptions of six subgenera

Autoři: Jack M. Craig aff001;  Lesley Y. Kim aff001;  Victor A. Tagliacollo aff002;  James S. Albert aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA, United States of America aff001;  Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224599


The diversity of gymnotid electric fishes has been intensely studied over the past 25 years, with 35 species named since 1994, compared to 11 species in the previous 236 years. Substantial effort has also been applied in recent years to documenting gymnotid interrelationships, with seven systematic studies published using morphological and molecular datasets. Nevertheless, until now, all gymnotids have been assigned to one of just two supraspecific taxa, the subfamily Electrophorinae with one genus Electrophorus and three valid species and the subfamily Gymnotine also with one genus Gymnotus and 43 valid species. This simple classification has obscured the substantial phenotypic and lineage diversity within the subfamily Gymnotine and hampered ecological and evolutionary studies of gymnotid biology. Here we present the most well-resolved and taxon-complete phylogeny of the Gymnotidae to date, including materials from all but one of the valid species. This phylogeny was constructed using a five-gene molecular dataset and a 115-character morphological dataset, enabling the inclusion of several species for which molecular data are still lacking. This phylogeny was time-calibrated using biogeographical priors in the absence of a fossil record. The tree topology is similar to those of previous studies, recovering all the major clades previously recognized with informal names. We propose a new gymnotid classification including two subfamilies (Electrophorinae and Gymnotinae) and six subgenera within the genus Gymnotus. Each subgenus exhibits a distinctive biogeographic distribution, within which most species have allopatric distributions and the subgenera are diverged from one another by an estimated 5–35 million years. We further provide robust taxonomic diagnoses, descriptions and identification keys to all gymnotid subgenera and all but four species. This new taxonomy more equitably partitions species diversity among supra-specific taxa, employing the previously vacant subgenus and subfamily ranks. This new taxonomy renders known gymnotid diversity more accessible to study by highlighting the deep divergences (chronological, geographical, genetic and morphological) among its several clades.

Klíčová slova:

Body limbs – Eyes – Chin – Jaw – Maxilla – Mouth – Teeth – Vertebrae


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