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Badidae, a new fish family–behavioural, osteological, and developmental evidence



The behaviour of Badis badis is similar, in general, both to that of “nandid” fishes and that of anabantoid fishes; trenchant differences also exist. It is impossible at this time, on behavioural evidence alone, to assess the relative importance of the behavioural findings. However, the remarkable and consistent agreement in the performance of the spawning embrace suggests a close relationship of Badis to anabantoid fishes rather than to the “nandids”.

The osteological studies confirm this hypothesis. Badis apparently split off from the ancestral anabantoids before they acquired the air-breathing adaptation. The osteological differences between Badis and the anabantoids stem chiefly from the modifications accompanying aerial respiration.

The egg of Badis badisis enclosed in an unusually tough sheath that is extremely adhesive. The egg itself lacks any special device for attaching. The larva has an adhesive organ at the tip of the yolk sac. The egg and the larva of Badis badis are thus unique among teleosts insofar as is known.

From these three lines of information we erect a new percoid family, Badidae, based on Badis Bleeker. This family appears to have descended from the proto-anabantoid stock.

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