Journal Article

Systematics and biogeography of Sternarchellini (Gymnotiformes: Apteronotidae): Diversification of electric fishes in large Amazonian rivers

Ivanyisky, S.J. and Albert, J.S.

Record Number:
4611
Year:
2014
Journal:
Neotropical Ichthyology
Pages:
565-584
Volume:
12
Abstract:
The Sternarchellini (Gymnotiformes, Apteronotidae) is a clade of 10 electric fish species that inhabit deep river channels of the Amazon and Orinoco basins, attain moderate adult body sizes (15-50 cm TL), and have a predatory life style. Here we trace the evolutionary origin and diversification of Sternarchellini using standard phylogenetic and biogeographic procedures and a dataset of 70 morphological characters. The main results are: 1) the genus Sternarchella includes both species currently assigned to the genus Magosternarchus; and 2) neither of the multi-species assemblages of Sternarchellini in the Amazon and Orinoco basins are monophyletic. Historical biogeographic analysis suggests that sternarchelline evolution was linked to the large-scale river capture event that formed the modern Amazon and Orinoco basins, i.e. the Late Miocene rise of the Vaupes structural arch and concomitant breaching of the Purus structural arch. This event is hypothesized to have contributed to formation of the modern sternarchelline species, and to the formation of the modern basin-wide sternarchelline species assemblages. The results indicate that cladogenesis (speciation) and anagenesis (adaptive evolution) were decoupled processes in the evolution of Sternarchellini.
Times Cited:
3
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