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Towards a phylogenetic classification of Leptothecata (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa)
Maronna, M.M.; Miranda, T.P.; Peña Cantero, A.L.; Barbeitos, M.S.; Marques, A.C. (2016). Towards a phylogenetic classification of Leptothecata (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa). NPG Scientific Reports 6(18075): 23 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Leptothecata [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Maronna, M.M.
  • Miranda, T.P.
  • Peña Cantero, A.L.
  • Barbeitos, M.S.
  • Marques, A.C.

    Leptothecata are hydrozoans whose hydranths are covered by perisarc and gonophores and whose medusae bear gonads on their radial canals. They develop complex polypoid colonies and exhibit considerable morphological variation among species with respect to growth, defensive structures and mode of development. For instance, several lineages within this order have lost the medusa stage. Depending on the author, traditional taxonomy in hydrozoans may be either polyp- or medusa-oriented. Therefore, the absence of the latter stage in some lineages may lead to very different classification schemes. Molecular data have proved useful in elucidating this taxonomic challenge. We analyzed a super matrix of new and published rRNA gene sequences (16S, 18S and 28S), employing newly proposed methods to measure branch support and improve phylogenetic signal. Our analysis recovered new clades not recognized by traditional taxonomy and corroborated some recently proposed taxa. We offer a thorough taxonomic revision of the Leptothecata, erecting new orders, suborders, infraorders and families. We also discuss the origination and diversification dynamics of the group from a macroevolutionary perspective.

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