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Citation for Study 12895

About Citation title: "A Phylogenetic Study of the Neotropical Banjo Catfishes (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Aspredinidae).".
About Study name: "A Phylogenetic Study of the Neotropical Banjo Catfishes (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Aspredinidae).".
About This study is part of submission 12895 (Status: Published).


Friel J.P. 1994. A Phylogenetic Study of the Neotropical Banjo Catfishes (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Aspredinidae)., Durham, Duke University.


  • Friel J.P.


The Neotropical catfish family Aspredinidae, commonly known as banjo catfishes, contains 34 valid nominal species (plus numerous undescribed species) distributed throughout the principal river systems of tropical South America and the coastal region from the Orinoco to Amazon deltas. This study was undertaken to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships within the Aspredinidae and of the Aspredinidae to other catfishes. Based on examination of most aspredinid specimens available and a phylogenetic analysis of morphological features, this study supports the monophyly of the Aspredinidae and revises their taxonmy to include 12 genera. The phylogenetic relationships among genera of aspredinids are fully resolved as follows: (Pseudobunocephalus new genus, (Acanthobunocephalus new genus, ((Bunocephalus, Amaralia), ((Pterobunocephalus, (Platystacus, (Asperdo, Aspredinichthys))), (Xyliphius, (Hoplomyzon, (Dupouyichthys, Ernstichthys))))))). A key to genera, diagnoses of genera, and lists of valid species are presented. This study reveals that the traditionally recognized subfamily Aspredininae is not the sister group to all other Aspredinidae but is nested higher up in the phylogeny of aspredinids. Furthermore, the subfamily Bunocephalinae, tribe Bunocephalini and genera Dysichthys sensu Mees (1989) and Aspredo sensu Mees (1987) are paraphyletic taxa. Major taxonomic and nomenclatural changes resulting from this phylogenetic study include the following: Species originally placed in Bunocephalus Kner, 1855 and recently transferred to Dysichthys Cope, 1874 by Mees (1989) are reassigned to Pseudobunocephalus new genus, Pterobunocephalus Fowler, 1943, and Bunocephalus Kner, 1855. In addition, several genera are synonymized in this study. Petacara Böhlike, 1959 is a junior subjective synonym of Pterobunocephalus Fowler, 1943; Dysichthys Cope, 1874 is a junior subjective synonym of Bunocephalus Kner, 1855; and Bunocephalichthys Bleeker 1858 and Agmus Eigenmann, 1910 are junior objective synonyms of Bunocehalus Kner 1855. Result of the phylogenetic analysis also support a novel hypothesis that the sister group of the Aspredinidae are the doradoid catfishes (Mochokidae, Doradidae, Centromochlidae and Auchenipteridae). This proposal challenges previous hypotheses of a sister group relationship with either sisoroid catfishes (Amblycipitidae. Sisoridae and Akysidae) or loricarioid catfishes (Nematogenyidae, Trichomycteridae, Callichthyidae Scoloplacidae, Astroblepidae and Loricariidae). Evidence supporting this relationship with doradoid catfishes come primarily from synapomorphies of the musculature and skeletal elements of the pectoral-spine complex.

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