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Keywords:

  • Glaucosomatidae;
  • mitochondrial DNA;
  • phylogeny;
  • rhodopsin;
  • sagitta

Most species of glaucosomatids (Teleostei: Glaucosomatidae) are endemic to Australia, except Glaucosoma buergeri that is widely distributed from Australia to Japan. This study elucidated phylogenetic relationships among glaucosomatids based on the morphological characters of the saccular-otolith sagitta, in addition to molecular evidence of mitochondrial 16S rDNA, cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and cytochrome b (cyt b) sequences, and nuclear rhodopsin sequences. The topologies of individuals' phylogenetic trees, based on 16S rDNA, COI and cyt b sequences, were statistically indistinguishable from one another, and were only slightly different from a tree based on rhodopsin sequences. These molecular tree topologies, however, differed from species relationships in morphology-based phylogenetic hypothesis proposed in previous studies. Specimens of G. buergeri from Australia and Taiwan showed differences in the sagitta and molecular differentiation at the four genes, suggesting a possible speciation event. Both molecular and morphological evidences indicate that Glaucosoma magnificum is the plesiomorphic sister species of other glaucosomatid species. Glaucosoma hebraicum is the sister species of a clade composed of G. buergeri and Glaucosoma scapulare. Molecular and morphological evidences also support the species status of G. hebraicum.