The taxonomic placement of three fossil Fundulus species and the timing of divergence within the North American topminnows (Teleostei: Fundulidae)

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The fossils species †Fundulus detillae, †F. lariversi, and †F. nevadensis from localities in the western United States are represented by well-preserved material with date estimations. We combined morphological data for these fossil taxa with morphological and DNA-sequence data to conduct a phylogenetic analysis and a tip-based divergence-Time estimation for the family Fundulidae. The resultant phylogeny is largely concordant with the prior total-evidence phylogeny. The fossil species do not form a monophyletic group, and do not represent a discrete western radiation of Fundulus as previously proposed. The genus Fundulus diverged into subgeneric clades likely in the Eocene or Oligocene (mean age 34.6 mya, 53-23 mya), and all subgeneric and most species-group clades had evolved by the middle Miocene. †Fundulus lariversi is a member of subgenus Fundulus in which all extant species are found only in eastern North America, demonstrating that fundulids had a complicated biogeographic history. We confirmed †Fundulus detillae as a member of the subgenus Plancterus. †F. nevadensis is not classified in a subgenus but likely is related to the subgenera Plancterus and Wileyich-Thys.

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