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Morphological phylogenetic considerations on the relationships of Isodictya Bowerbank, 1864
Samaai, T.; Gibbons, M.J.; Kelly, M. (1999). Morphological phylogenetic considerations on the relationships of Isodictya Bowerbank, 1864. Mem. Queensl. Mus. 44: 517-523
In: Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. Queensland Museum: Brisbane. ISSN 0079-8835, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Animal morphology; Marine invertebrates; Phylogeny; Cercidochela Kirkpatrick, 1907 [WoRMS]; Esperiopsis Carter, 1882 [WoRMS]; Isodictya Bowerbank, 1864 [WoRMS]

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  • Samaai, T.
  • Gibbons, M.J.
  • Kelly, M.

    Isodictya Bowerbank was recently transferred from the Order Poecilosclerida to the Order Haplosclerida, based upon the hypothesis that skeletal architecture and spiculation are homologous between Isodictya and some genera in the haplosclerid family Niphatidae. We examined this hypothesis by determining the diagnostic morphological characters of Isodictya, comparing these with a selection of poecilosclerid and haplosclerid genera, which also have reticulate spongin skeletons. A phylogenetic analysis of diagnostic morphological characters such as spicule morphology, choanosomal skeletal architecture, and surface fibre ornamentation was carried out to determine the ordinal affinities of Isodictya. The analysis of this data set produced 21 equally parsimonious trees of 29 steps with a consistency index (C.I) of 1.000 and retention index (RI) of 1.000. Major characters that separate Isodictya from the haplosclerid genera include the nature of the surface skeletal outgrowths, the amount of spongin associated with these outgrowths, the absence of a paratangential skeleton, the presence of chelae, and the presence of small cigar-shaped oxeas. Results strongly suggest the retention of Isodictya and allied taxa Cercidochela and Esperiopsis within the Order Poecilosclerida.

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