On the ninth day of Fishmas cladistics gave to me…
- Nine representatives of basal Percomorphaceae
- Eight basal Neoteleosts
- Seven basal euteleostomorphs
- Six crown Otomorpha
- FIVE! BOH-NY TONGUES!
- Four elopomorphs
- Three Holosteans
- Two Chondrostei
- And a bichir at the base of Actinopterygii
Day nine brings us the basal members of the euteleost clade Percomorphocaea. As a large group, it contains a huge number of vertebrates but was difficult to pin down. Recent studies have helped clarify it a bit. Genomic studies have also clarified nine identifiable crown groups. That said, there is still work–the main source for this project (listed here) had one phylogeny showing two of today’s clades, Ophidiaria (the cusk eels) and Batrachoidaria (the toadfish), were the basal sister group to the rest of the percomorphs. A later paper from 2018 also included one of today’s clades, Gobiaria (the gobies and kurtiformes) also in that basal position. I’m sure that lots of work will continue, but I’ll be honest…the number of figures available only worked with the gobies for this day!
When it comes to figures, there is some real imbalance. Cusk eels are produced in small numbers, mostly from Japan. Gobies of a wide variety are available from a wide number of sources; kurtifomes, not so much. And there are no particular toadfish figures…fortunately, with a friend’s help, I am able to represent the Batrachoidaria with a 3D printed Toadfish (I wrote about it here). Although more exist, I only have the single Cusk eel from Takara representing the Ophidiaria. The remainder of today’s figures are from the Gobiaria, including the gobies and mudksippers–the species are the 3D Pictorial Fire goby, Kaiyodo Serpentine goby, Yujin Spiny goby and Colorata Prawn goby; the mudskippers are a Yujin Barred mudskipper and Blue-spotted mudskipper and Kaiyodo Shuttle’s mudskipper.
Day ten will will be a weird pairing…big pelagic fish and weird, smaller fish! Yet somehow they’re related.