Phylogenetic analysis and taxonomy of the poecilioid fishes (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes)

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Evidence from morphology is used to infer the phylogeny of the superfamily Poecilioidea using other cyprinodontoid fishes as outgroups. The three equally most parsimonious trees resulting from the phylogenetic analysis support the monophyly of the families Anablepidae and Poeciliidae with respect to each other, but the previous taxonomy within the Poeciliinae is not consistent with the resultant phylogenetic trees. The Poeciliidae is recognized with three subfamilies: the Aplocheilichthyinae containing solely Aplocheilichthys spilauchen, the Procatopodinae containing Fluviplylax (Fluviphylacini) and the African lamp-eyed killifishes (Procatopodini), and the Poeciliinae. The inferred hierarchical relationships of included suprageneric taxa are: ((Oxyzygonectinae, Anablepinae) (Aplocheilichthyinae ((Fluviphylacini, Procatopodini) (Alfarini (Priapellini (Gambusini (Heterandrini (Cnesterodontini (Girardini, Poeciliini))))))))). The tribe Alfarini is resurrected and a new tribe, the Priapellini, is described. Tomeurus gracilis is not the most basal poeciliine, and facultative viviparity in Tomeurus is not a plesiomorphic intermediate condition of viviparity retained from the common ancestor of poeciliines. Facultative viviparity in Tomeurus is the result of an evolutionary loss of obligate viviparity. Tomeurus gracilis is recognized as a member of the tribe Cnesterodontini. Lamprichthys tanganicus and Micropanchax pelagicus are not sister taxa, and the pelagic lacustrine habits of these two species are inferred to have evolved independently. Based on the principles of vicariance biogeography, the origin of the Poecilioidea is inferred to have occurred before the separation of Africa and South America. © 2000 The Linnean Society of London.

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