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Molecular systematics of flyingfishes (Teleostei: Exocoetidae): evolution in the epipelagic zone
Lewallen, E.A.; Pitman, R.L.; Kjartanson, S.L.; Lovejoy, N.R. (2011). Molecular systematics of flyingfishes (Teleostei: Exocoetidae): evolution in the epipelagic zone. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 102(1): 161-174.
In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0024-4066, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Beloniformes; cytb; gliding strategies; mtDNA; nuclear DNA; phylogeny;RAG2

Authors  Top 
  • Lewallen, E.A.
  • Pitman, R.L.
  • Kjartanson, S.L.
  • Lovejoy, N.R.

    The flyingfish family Exocoetidae is a diverse group of marine fishes that are widespread and abundant in tropical and subtropical seas. Flyingfishes are epipelagic specialists that are easily distinguished by their enlarged fins, which are used for gliding leaps over the surface of the water. Although phylogenetic hypotheses have been proposed for flyingfish genera based on morphology, no comprehensive molecular studies have been performed. In the present study, we describe a species-level molecular phylogeny for the family Exocoetidae, based on data from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (1137 bp) and the nuclear RAG2 gene (882 bp). We find strong support for previous morphology-based phylogenetic hypotheses, as well as the monophyly of most currently accepted flyingfish genera. However, the most diverse genus Cheilopogon is not monophyletic. Using our novel flyingfish topology, we examine previously proposed hypotheses for the origin and evolution of gliding. The results support the progressive transition from two-wing to four-wing gliding. We also use phylogenetic approaches to test the macroecological effects of two life history characters (e.g. egg buoyancy and habitat) on species range size in flyingfishes. (c) 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2011, 102, 161-174.

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