Convergent camouflage and the non-monophyly of ‘seadragons’ (Syngnathidae: Teleostei): suggestions for a revised taxonomy of syngnathids
Article first published online: 10 SEP 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Zoologica Scripta © 2010 The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Volume 39, Issue 6, pages 551–558, November 2010
How to Cite
Wilson, N. G. and Rouse, G. W. (2010), Convergent camouflage and the non-monophyly of ‘seadragons’ (Syngnathidae: Teleostei): suggestions for a revised taxonomy of syngnathids. Zoologica Scripta, 39: 551–558. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2010.00449.x
- Issue published online: 21 OCT 2010
- Article first published online: 10 SEP 2010
- Submitted: 23 April 2010 Accepted: 12 August 2010
Wilson, N. G. & Rouse, G. W. (2010). Convergent camouflage and the non-monophyly of ‘seadragons’ (Syngnathidae: Teleostei): suggestions for a revised taxonomy of syngnathids. —Zoologica Scripta, 39, 551–558.
The phylogeny and classification of the charismatic Syngnathidae (e.g. pipefish, seahorses) has not been comprehensively examined to date. In particular, we assessed morphological hypotheses that previously suggested the three ‘seadragon’ genera (Phycodurus, Phyllopteryx, Haliichthys) do not form a monophyletic group. We used three mitochondrial markers to investigate evolutionary relationships within Syngnathidae, and demonstrated that Phycodurus + Phyllopteryx formed a clade that excluded Haliichthys, indicating the elaborate appendages used for camouflage have evolved independently. A time-calibrated tree revealed the divergence of true seadragons as coincident with other kelp-associated fauna. We found evidence for the resurrection of neglected subfamily names, and recovered Doryrhampinae, Nerophinae, Soleganthinae, Phyllopteryginae, Sygnathoidinae and Haliichthyinae as clades. Even after removing these groups from what is currently recognized as Syngnathinae, we showed that the remaining members of Syngnathinae are not monophyletic. In the light of this information, some conclusions about the diversity of reproductive strategies found within ‘Syngnathinae’ need to be re-examined and further revision of syngnathid classification is needed.