12 Days of FISHMAS! Day Eight!

Day eight of the Twelve Days of Fishmas! Day seven can be found here. The tag for the whole set will be here.

On the eighth day of Fishmas cladistics gave to me…

  • Eight representative basal Neoteleostei
  • Seven basal euteleostomorphs
  • Six crown Otomorpha
  • Four elopomorphs
  • Three Holosteans
  • Two Chondrostei
  • And a bichir at the base of Actinopterygii

Day 8 is…so many crown groups of Neoteleosts. Just so many. Cladistically, it includes all of the euteleosts not included yesterday. And for the purpose of today’s day of Fishmas, it will be all of the other neoteleosts up to but not including the percomorphs…which will apparently take us through four more days! As a group, they are united by a few physical synapomorphies (retractus dorsalis musculature for example) and later molecular data; the resolution within continues to be more messy though!

The groups included today include the jellynoses Atelopodia; the lizardfishes Cyclosquamata (or Aulopa); the lanterfishes Myctophata; the oarfish & opah Lampripterygii and its sister-clade the Paracanthopterygii containing the troutperches Percopsaria, the John Dories Zeiariae, and the cods & tubenoses Gadariae; the beardfishes Polymixiipterygii; the whalefishes & fangtooths, etc Berycimorphaceae; and the squirrel- and soldierfishes Holocentrimorphaceae. Overall a hugely diverse and interesting group of fishes of varying familiarity.

This means that not all of the clades are represented in figure form, like, at all. I have been able to get many groups, but so far there are no jellynoses, John Dories or beardfishes (that I could find, so far). That was also true of the Percopsaria, but after I got to meet some local live specimens I did have a couple custom figures commissioned, of both a Troutperch and today’s representative, a Pirate Perch. Might need to do the same thing for the other 3 groups, maybe 3D prints…The Cyclosquamata is represented by a Longnose lancetfish and Spiderfish. It took some doing, but I have a Watases lanternfish representing the Myctophata. Al Slender Oarfish represents the Lampripterygii, and a Hard-headed Grenadier represents the Gadariae. Finally, we have a Whalefish representing the Berycimorphaceae and a Soldierfish to represent the Holocentrimorphoceae.

Day nine will see a whole lot of small and fun fishes!

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