Australian Museum Journal Affinities, generic classification and biogeography of the Australian and New Zealand mudfishes (Salmoniformes: Galaxiidae).

Shortform:
McDowall, 1997, Rec. Aust. Mus. 49(2): 121–137
Author(s):
McDowall, R. M.
Year published:
1997
Title:
Affinities, generic classification and biogeography of the Australian and New Zealand mudfishes (Salmoniformes: Galaxiidae).
Serial title:
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume:
49
Issue:
2
Start page:
121
End page:
137
DOI:
10.3853/j.0067-1975.49.1997.1262
Language:
English
Date published:
15 October 1997
Cover date:
15 October 1997
ISSN:
0067-1975
CODEN:
RAUMAJ
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
FISHES; BIOGEOGRAPHY
Digitized:
19 November 2008
Available online:
05 March 2009
Reference number:
1262
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (92kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (2356kb PDF)

Abstract

The Australian mudfish, Galaxias cleaveri, resembles the three New Zealand mudfishes (Neochanna spp.) in general external morphology. It is the least specialised of a transformation series that includes all four mudfishes, in which the body is elongated, eyes are small, anterior nostrils long, tubular and forward directed, dorsal and anal fins low and long, flanges on the caudal peduncle well developed, pectoral fins small, paddle-shaped, and high on sides behind head, and pelvic fins reduced or lost. Unique specialisations in the vomerine-ethmoid region of the cranium and in the form of the pectoral girdle support the view that these four species are a monophyletic group. The Australian species is therefore included in Neochanna. The presence of a marine larval and juvenile life stage in the Australian species (diadromy) probably explains the distribution of the genus, with New Zealand species together derived from the Australian one or their common ancestor by dispersal across the Tasman Sea in prevailing ocean currents. The biogeography of the Australian and New Zealand species is consistent with post-Oligocene geology, and in particular with events during and since the Pleistocene.

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