Molecular and morphometric systematics of Diapterus (Perciformes, Gerreidae). ZOOLOGICA SCRIPTA 43: 338-350.
Article first published online: 7 APR 2014
The fish belonging to Gerreidae are common representatives of the
coastal ichthyofauna of the tropics and subtropics of the world. The
genus Diapterus has a neotropical distribution and currently includes four species: two in the Atlantic Ocean [Irish mojarra D. auratus Ranzani 1842 and rhombic mojarra D. rhombeus (Cuvier 1829)] and two in the Pacific Ocean [short-beaked mojarra D. brevirostris (Sauvage 1879) and golden mojarra D. aureolus (Jordan & Gilbert 1882)]. This genus has uncertain taxonomy based on the remarkable and dissimilar morphology of D. aureolus. We evaluated the taxonomy and phylogeny of Diapterus
with statistical (canonical discriminant analysis) and phylogenetic
analyses (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference)
of geometric morphometric data (relative warps) and molecular data (12Sr
RNA, 16Sr RNA, COI and RAG1 sequences). Our results indicate that the
genus Diapterus as we currently conceive it is a polyphyletic group: [(Gerres cinereus – Eucinostomus spp. (D. aureolus – (Eugerres spp. (D. auratus – (D. brevirostris – D. rhombeus)))))]. Therefore, a taxonomic rearrangement is needed. To preserve the monophyly of the group, our proposal is to remove D. aureolus and place it in a new monotypic genus. A neotype is designated for D. aureolus as well as an artificial identification key for the genera and the species treated in this article.