On the eleventh day of Fishmas cladistics gave to me…
- Eleven fish from 3 clades towards the top of the tree!
- Ten Syngnatharia+Pelagiaria
- Nine Percomorpha
- 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
From right near the top of the tree, we have three clades that form the sister-group to…the last crown group. They themselves form a kind of dichotomy within a dichotomy. Within this group, we start with the Ovalentaria, which is a pretty broad group of fish that don’t always look similarly–apparently they were first united through molecular studies (but their methods of egg laying is apparently a physical characteristic. This group includes mullets, halfbeaks and flyingfish, damselfishes, blennies, cichlids, silversides, rivulines, livebearers…a lot of distinct fish. The Ovalentaria is a sister group to a dichotomy again–this time formed by the Carangaria and the Anabantaria. The Carangaria includes high speed predators like billfishes, trevally and barracudas, as well as Mahi-Mahi, flatfish (flounders, halibut, etc), archerfish…another diverse bunch. The Anabantaria is made up of fish like gouramis, snakeheads, swamp eels and freshwater spiny eels.
So of course, given how broad this clade ranges in terms of diversity and taxonomy, there are of course quite a few figures–although in some ways less of some than others. Some, like the ovalentarian cichlids, are very familiar and well-known, but overall don’t seem to show up much as figures (I have a few, and there are some others, but it’s surprising there’s not more). I have chosen a Marmit Blue Hap; the ovalentaria is also represented by a Kaiyodo Flyingfish and an MPC Needlefish. The Carangaria shows up as figures fairly often (well, some groups of them) so to represent the group I chose a Toy Fish Factory Barracuda, a Yujin Flounder, and a Kaiyodo Sailfish and Archerfish (different series). Finally, the Anabantaria is not represented enough, but a few exist of many of the groups; I have included a Yujin Paradisefish and Snakehead, a Play Visions Spiny eel, and a Safari Cave eel
Day twelve! Last day! Huge group, almost overwhelmingly so…but we’re almost there!