Osteology and Myology of the Cephalic Region and Pectoral Girdle of Heptapterus mustelinus, Comparison With Other Heptapterins, and Discussion on the Synapomorphies and Phylogenetic Relationships of the Heptapterinae and the Pimelodidae (Teleostei: Siluriformes)

Dec 1, 2007

The cephalic and pectoral girdle structures of the heptapterin Hepapterus mustelinus ('Nemuroglanis clade') are described and compared to those of two representatives of the other, more plesiomorphic, main heptapterin group, namely Goeldiella eques and Rhamdia guatemalensis ('basal clade'), as well as of several other catfishes, as the foundation for a discussion on the synapomorphies and phylogenetic relationships of the Heptapterinae. In addition to the five synapomorphies commonly referred in the literature, there is another potential Heptapterinae synapomorphy: the well-developed maxilla forming a completely closed, deep tube to enclose the base of the maxillary barbel. The subfamilies Pimelodinae, Heptapterinae and Pseudopimeodinae seem to form a monophyletic assemblage, thus contradicting the commonly accepted idea that the family Pimelodidae is not a natural group.